Greetings and a belated Merry Christmas.
As I'm sure your week was, mine was quite busy. And wonderful. I hope you received more than your heart could even desire this Christmas - I know I did. I might even get more than I expect because my dad gave me a gift of a bright red jacket which he expects will help me attract a husband. (Some long story about birds attracting each other with colors and how I don't dress colorfully enough.) I'm laughing about it, but I've got to tell you, that jacket worries me a bit. :)
This entire Christmas season though, I've listened earnestly to my Christian radio station waiting to hear my favorite Christmas song come on. I'm sure you've heard it - "A strange way to save the world." by 4Him. I'll put the video at the end of this post so you can hear the song as well.
The song has really struck home with me these last few weeks because of the constant problems we've faced living in San Antonio. As you listen to the story of Jesus' birth though it's absolutely riddled with far worse problems.
Mary's pregnant and technically not married yet.
Her husband-to-be considers putting her away (to break the marriage agreement)
Caesar suddenly demands everyone partake in a census.
Mary and Joseph have to travel a long distance, with her apparently quite far along in the pregnancy.
They get there, and sure enough in the middle of nowhere, Mary goes into labor.
They need a place to stay and there are no motels - and wind up having to stay in a barn.
Imagine, if you were called by God to have a baby - wouldn't you begin to wonder while you're sitting in the stable surrounded by cows and ... uh... wonderful aromas... if maybe this was all just a crazy dream? Surely this isn't what we thought it was... it's unbelievable enough that we would be birthing the Savior of the world for cryin' out loud but obviously things just aren't working out. Surely something would be going right if this were actually such a special birth. Right?
But no, the baby is born and then when as a father or mother who has just birthed someone called "Mighty God, Prince of Peace", they are told not to go home because Caesar is going to kill their baby.
Would that make sense to you?
None of it makes sense, unless you just bow your head and say "I'm doing whatever you ask of me Lord, no matter what happens and how it works out. And you simply stop requiring things to look picture perfect in order to be of God.
Too often we do exactly that though - God calls us to the mission field but we have difficulty raising the money or miss our flight and we suddenly doubt whether God really initiated all this to begin with. We never say it, but I know all too often I act as though Gods road obviously must be free of potholes. We say we expect problems following God, but the minute we find one we begin to doubt if our road was really Gods path.
I know I entered into San Antonio with a boatload of doubts - but it was the very best thing I have ever done for myself in my entire life. And yet every single day we struggle with finances to the point we worry about eviction, utilities being cut off, possession being taken away... for my family that moved here with me, I wonder often if they don't see this as just one big nightmare. Meanwhile I'm sloshing around on cloud 9. Problems and all, I see my road, and it's as clearly the road God has for me as the fact that I was to be a foster parent.
I can't tell you about your road - but this one thing I know, I'm more confident than I have ever been in my entire life that God will see me through the pot holes. It doesn't mean we won't eventually end up evicted, or spend a few days without electricity or something, but He will be there through it all.
No question about it. No doubt about it.
He's here. And I've never had more troubles, and been happier in my life.
What a wonderful life.
Listen to my favorite song - I hope you enjoy!
A strange way to save the world
Sure he must have been surprised
At where this road had taken him
'Cause never in a million lives
Would he had dreamed of Bethlehem
And standing at the manger
He saw with his own eyes
The message from the angel come to life
And Joseph said...
Why me, I'm just a simple man of trade
Why Him, with all the rulers in the world
Why here inside this stable filled with hay
Why her, she's just an ordinary girl
Now I'm not one to second guess
what angels have to say
But this is such a strange way to save the world
To think of how it could have been
If Jesus had come as He deserved
There would have been no Bethlehem
No lowly shepherds at His birth
But Joseph knew the reason
Love had to reach so far
And as he held the Savior in his arms
He must have thought...