The Reason for the Season – Part 2
Having a Baby in Times of Distress
Today, when we get pregnant, we worry about what kinds of medicine we are able to take, to make the pain go away during delivery. We worry about whether or not we have the right doctor. We worry about having our bags packed, do we have the right car seat to bring the baby home in, did we even pick out the right out fit for the baby to come home in. We just WORRY!!! What about being pregnant, riding a donkey, going to a distant land with a bunch of strangers and having no place to even rest your head. That would be a time to worry.
“At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancee, who was now obviously pregnant. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manager, because there was no lodging available for them.” (Luke 2:1-7).
Mary had to travel around 80 miles to get from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Since she was really far along in her pregnancy Joseph probably had her ride on a donkey. The Bible does not tell us how they traveled to Bethlehem, but it was a four day travel on foot. If we have to travel somewhere, we get to ride in some sort of vehicle that is usually pretty comfortable. But Mary rode on a donkey’s back for days. Imagine the bumps, the pain, the pressure of the baby pusshing down. How uncomfortable it all was.
Once they arrived in Bethlehem, they could not find a place to stay. If you have ever tried to find a hotel room at the last minute and have had a hard time finding one, after riding in a car for along time, then you might know some of Mary’s frustration. She was really pregnant, so pregnant that she delivered the baby that night. Now, imagine trying to find a place to stay when you are ready to go into labor. You are also in a place where you do not know anyone and your doctor is miles away from where you are. I don’t know about you, but I would not only be frustrated, but also mad and scared.
Not Mary and Joseph though. They had faith. God had told them that they would be having His child. They were giving birth to The Almighty God’s son. AMAZING!! They still remained calm. Even after the baby was born, when there was no place to lay the baby down to rest, nothing to wrap the child in, they figured it out. Joseph put some hay in the manger and they used strips of cloth to wrap the baby in and keep him warm. It doesn’t say where they got the strips of cloth from, but I wonder if they ripped pieces of cloth from their own clothes.
I am reminded every time that I want to complain about how I do not have something that I want, need or just desire that I have no right being this way. God has called us to be thankful and remain calm in the middle of any storm, even the simple everyday storms.
“Dear Lord, please forgive me for not remembering to thank you in the bad times just like I do during the good times. Help me to be more thankful and remember that you have blessed me and my family so much, even when life is not going the way that I want it to go.”
God bless you and your family during this time of Christmas,