This is NOT how it was supposed to be. Nothing had gone as she imagined. This pregnancy has been less than ideal – from the scornful faces of those who don’t buy her story to swollen ankles with no comfortable shoes. Then, there’s the whole Joseph factor. It’s a miracle really that she is now with Joseph. She never dreamed they’d still be together after that confrontational night. Oh, that was a night she wishes she could black out from her memory. Joseph wanted out… and he had an out believing she had been unfaithful. There was nothing SHE could do to convince him. Thankfully, God took care of that.
Now, her pregnancy was coming to a close. Her ankles were atrociously swollen and the Braxton Hicks were picking up in frequency and intensity. Not to mention the sleepless nights, waking up often to, ahem, use the potty and then try to get comfortable to fall back asleep. Needless to say, she was less-than-thrilled when Joseph told her they had to make a quick trip to Bethlehem? “A quick trip?” She thought. Ha! It’s a three day journey to Bethlehem… on a stinkin’ donkey… nine months pregnant. It’s all she could do to hide her disgust. She did want more than anything to please her Father and respect her new husband – but really? How much worse could this situation get?
So, journey they did. They made it to Bethlehem, but so did the 1000s of others who needed to report for the Census. There was NO place to stay. Just when she thought things couldn’t get any worse, her contractions picked up. Yes, contractions. She was pretty certain that these were no longer Braxton Hicks. Again, not wanting to burden her hubby just yet, she dealt with it quietly, talking with her Father who was constantly reassuring her. Finally, they landed a place to crash for the night… in a stable… with the animals. Nice.
All at once, peace like she’d never known in her life came over her. Little did she know she was moments away from holding the Prince of Peace. She was curious where the glow that was in the stable came from, but enjoyed every minute of it. She made Joseph aware that the time was near. It even seemed like the animals even knew what was going on. Not long after, she was holding her son. Jesus. Immanuel – God with us.
Everything about that night was not how she imagined it would play out. It started with an angel so she thought it would end in a hospital suite after a fresh pedi and an epidural :). This was the Son of God, for heaven’s sake. She imagined a picture-perfect situation, yet in the not-so perfect circumstances she met the Prince of Peace and God was with her.
Everything about this season you’re in may seem not-so perfect. Nothing like you imagined it. Family dissention, financial uncertainty, health struggles, relational issues, future uncertainties, failure, fill in the blank…
No matter what your imperfect situation, in the midst of it Jesus is Immanuel – God is with you. Amidst the chaos of this not-so-perfect season, rest in the Prince of Peace.
See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name Him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.” Matthew 1: 23
For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6