by Max Lucado
This isnít the way I planned it, God. Not at all. My child being born in a stable? This isnít the way I thought it would be. A cave with sheep and donkeys, hay and straw? My wife giving birth with only the stars to hear her pain?
This isnít at all what I imagined. No, I imagined family. I imagined grandmothers. I imagined neighbors clustered outside the door and friends standing at my side. I imagined the house erupting with the first cry of the infant. Slaps on the back. Loud laughter. Jubilation.
Thatís how I thought it would be.
But nowÖWho will celebrate with us? The sheep? The shepherds?
This doesnít seem right. What kind of husband am I? I provide no midwife to aid my wife. No bed to rest her back. Her pillow is a blanket from my donkey.
Did I miss something? Did I, God?
When you sent the angel and spoke of the son being bornóthis isnít what I pictured. I envisioned Jerusalem, the temple, the priests, and the people gathered to watch. A pageant perhaps. A parade. A banquet at least. I mean, this is the Messiah!
Or, if not born in Jerusalem, how about Nazareth? Wouldnít Nazareth have been better? At least there I have my house and my business. Out here, what do I have? A weary mule, a stack of firewood, and a pot of warm water. This is not the way I wanted it to be!... Forgive me for asking but Ö is this how God enters the world? The coming of the angel, Iíve accepted. The questions people asked about the pregnancy, I can tolerate. The trip to Bethlehem, fine. But why a birth in a stable, God?
Any minute now Mary will give birth. Not to a child, but to the Messiah. Not to an infant, but to God. Thatís what the angel said. Thatís what Mary believes. And, God, my God, thatís what I want to believe. But surely you can understand; itís not easy. It seems so Ö so Ö so Ö bizarre.
Iím unaccustomed to such strangeness, God. Iím a carpenter. I make things fit. I square off the edges. I follow the plumb line. I measure twice before I cut once. Surprises are not the friend of a builder. I like to know the plan. I like to see the plan before I begin.
But this time Iím not the builder, am I? This time Iím a tool. A hammer in your grip. A nail between your fingers. A chisel in your hands. This project is yours, not mine.
One Incredible Savior! Guess itís foolish of me to question you. Forgive my struggling. Trust doesnít come easy to me, God. But you never said it would be easy, did you?
One final thing, Father. The angel you sent? Any chance you could send another? If not an angel, maybe a person? I donít know anyone around here and some company would be nice. Maybe the innkeeper or a traveler? Even a shepherd would do.
From One Incredible Savior: Celebrating the Majesty of the Manger, Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 2011) Max Lucado
Malankara World Christmas Supplement
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