Away in a … Manger?

Away in a … Manger? Image

And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. – Luke 2:7

Gerard_van_Honthorst_wikimediacommons1We certainly have our ideas of how things should go, don’t we? We love to dream and envision and picture in our minds.

I know when I had my first child, and even my second, I certainly had an image of how things would go, what things would look like. I decorated their nurseries in my mind before I even knew if they would be a boy or a girl. I had a different color scheme picked out, depending on which it would be. I had the going-home outfits all thought out. And of course, everything would be… just…. perfect.

Do you ever wonder if Mary did the same? Do you think she dreamed of holding her son, wrapping him in her softest blanket, perhaps one made by an aunt or grandmother, perhaps one handed down through generations? I bet that she did. I bet that not one of her imaginings featured a smelly stable. Not one of her dreams involved lying the sweet baby in a manger. She probably didn’t plan on giving birth so far from her home and everything familiar, in the middle of the night, surrounded by strangers.

But oh, God had other plans. Glorious plans. And this was only the beginning.

Our lives are a lot like that I think. We had them all planned out, didn’t we? Did any of your dreams ever feature a chronic illness? How about embarrassing moments of disability? Oh, and don’t forget pain. I can tell you for certain that none of my plans included pain or stress or financial hardship. My dreams did not ever feature doctor visits and nights spent in tears and weeks spent indoors.

But oh, life had other plans. And my God is able to turn them into glorious plans. Perfect plans. And this is only the beginning.

Heavenly Father, Thank You for using even the lowly birth of Your Glorious Son to show us that You are able to make wonderful things of what seems like ruined dreams. Help us never to forget who we serve. In Jesus’ Name, Amen…

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