A Christmas Trip Like No Other

When the kids were little, we’d pack them in the van with their p.j.’s, pillows and blankets. Pretty much everything but the kitchen sink. We loaded the Christmas presents and t.v. and vcr (strapped down in the front for all children to see.) And in the middle of the night, in the presence of all the stars in the sky, we’d set out for our annual drive across the country. It took 24 hours to reach my parents’ house in Oklahoma where we’d visit for a few days and then reload back into the van for a 27 hour trip straight to California for a visit with Mike’s family.

It sounds like torture, but it was actually quite fun (for the kids.) I was always exhausted and sick by the time we reached Lemoore, but you do what you have to do. And that is how our military family had to travel if we wanted to be with our families at Christmas. Plus my soldier husband thrived on these adventures.

My kids now love loooong road trips. I think we’ve warped them for life. I myself prefer the trips you take in the air. My legs don’t get so stiff nor am I sick from lack of sleep when I arrive.

I can’t imagine pregnant Mary’s journey all the way from Nazareth to Bethlehem. It’s uncomfortable enough to be 9 months pregnant much less being in that condition travelling on the back of an animal. No van or airplane was available.

Did she complain? Was she almost sick when they finally arrived? And then how did she react when they got to the busy city and could not find a room? We assume she gently pressed her lips holding back frustration and trusted God, right?

I would’ve been in tears asking God why in the world He would do this to me. I was having HIS Son! He made me travel all the way to Bethehem and now THIS! It’s a good thing I wasn’t Mary. But what if she did get upset? She was human. Would we think less of her if she reacted like the rest of us would have in that situation?

She was human. Holy but not divine. I think if she did get upset, God understood. Yet He had a purpose for their predicament; therefore no room in the inn miraculously opened up.

Maybe when the shepherds showed up Mary realized why God had picked her birthing room to be in a manger under the stars. The shepherds had to come. They were the chosen ones to first lay eyes on the Messiah. The Creator of the world had to be born in the open space of creation not an enclosed stuffy room, and He was to be proclaimed first by men with no earthly status. Men who would understand His heart–the heart of the Good Shepherd.

Our God always has a good purpose. We just can’t always see it or understand.

Much Grace and Peace,

We live by faith, not by sight (Romans 5:7).

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