This week I'm pondering the long road to Bethlehem and how much Mary had to go through before she could hold Jesus in her arms. Sometimes you and I have to travel long and go through much before we experience Christ in a new and more vibrant way as well.
Here are some thoughts about that from Wrestling With Wonder:
Too often, I think, when we approach the Christmas story, we are caught up in the star, the angels, the babe in the manger. We forget that it took a nearly-one-hundred-mile journey, while pregnant, to get there. That could not have been an easy trip...
But at the end of the journey, Mary would encounter Christ in a way she hadn’t before. The Messiah would be born, and she would be transformed. She would hold God incarnate in her arms ... but only after a long and arduous journey.
Sometimes, it’s no different for you or me. Sometimes we have to travel a path we don’t understand to arrive in the place where God wants us to be.
And as s I recall my journey, and Mary’s, they teach me that even through hurt and discomfort, maybe especially in hurt and pain, God is leading to a place where I will glimpse his glory anew. He is saying to me that I must travel the path he has placed before me in order to get to the place he has planned for me since the beginning.So, when you’ve surrendered to God’s call and are suddenly thrust onto a road you never imagined and never wanted, remember, he knows the path you take. He travels with you, within you, and you will see him as you never could have before if you just keep going, trust, and persevere.
There, you will see the face of the Messiah. You will meet him in a new way. So, place one foot in front of the other, walk through your life day by day, know that this road, as pointless as it seems, is the only way to his will.
Jesus must be born in Bethlehem. You must travel the difficult road at the worst time in your life to get there. Keep going, have faith, walk ... and you will get to that new place where you will see him in a new way. The place where you will be changed. Don’t give up. Don’t despair.
This road leads to Bethlehem ...