On a recent cold and clear night, I happened to notice just how brilliant and beautiful the stars were. A comet streaked all the way across the sky and I just had to marvel at God’s amazing creation! Then I thought of the shepherds looking up into the night sky and how amazed they must have been when the night sky suddenly filled with angels proclaiming the birth of Christ! I also thought of how much the wisemen must have searched the sky each night to follow a special star for months, maybe even years to find Jesus so that they could honor and worship him. Why do I so often miss the beauty of the night’s sky?
One big reason is that my life it too busy! And Christmas time is one of those seasons which seems extra busy. For the past number of weeks, I have been busy preparing music for the Christmas season- I love music and for years I have seen praising God through vocal and instrumental music at Christmas time my gift to Jesus. Yet, as I write this, I am awaiting a COVID test result and God has suddenly really slowed my life down. I am not going to be able to attend the Sunday service before Christmas and depending on the test result, I may miss the Christmas Eve service and the following Sunday!
Yet, as I look at the Christmas story, I realize that God specifically used difficult situations to perfectly orchestrate Christ’s coming to earth. I am sure that Mary and Joseph wondered why God allowed Caesar to call for a census which would force them to travel the long and arduous trip to Bethlehem while Mary was so close to giving birth. I bet they wondered why God did not find room in an inn for His Son to be born, and why the harsh reality of the stable?
There are many reasons why God orchestrated the events of the first Christmas the way he did- (for example the appearance of the angels to the shepherds showed that God came for the lowly, the humble, the outcasts and down trodden), but I’m sure there are many reasons that we won’t know this side of heaven either. We do know that God had a detailed plan for arrival of his son on earth long before it happened (look at the prophesy in Micah 5:2 about Messiah’s birth place).
Likewise, we can be sure that God has orchestrated the events of our lives in 2020 for His good and perfect purposes (Romans 8:28). He has reminded me that just like the Bethlehem inn that had no room for Mary and Joseph, my schedule is often too full for Jesus. I have been a bit like Martha in Luke 10:38-42 -too busy trying to serve Jesus, when I should have been sitting as his feet listening to Jesus and enjoying his company.
This Christmas, be like the wisemen and devout your time to seeking Christ. Give priority to finding a comfortable place on your couch to sit and enjoy listening to God’s words to you, as you read your Bible. Make sure that you invite those loved ones who are with you this season to join you on the couch as well, as you read God’s Word. Like a loving father, what God wants most this Christmas is for us to spend time with him. God may just have purposed the difficulties in your life right now to draw you to Him and to your family this Christmas.