This year with our infertility story unfolding before us, the Christmas story has taken on a different layer of meaning than years before.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the brokenness that Elizabeth faced during her time on this Earth. I can’t even imagine how isolating and painful it was for her to be growing old and suffering from a barren womb during a time where people were literally multiplying like fruit flies. The heartache. The pain. The isolation she must have felt from all her family and friends. And the shame. Oh, the horrible, cutting, deep shame.
I’ve been reading through the birth narrative and the beautiful redemption story that unfolds in Matthew and Luke these past few weeks, and I just keep thinking about how messy the events leading up to the first Christmas really were.
The doubt that Zachariah faced when he was told that his old wife was going to birth a great leader in Christ’s kingdom. The hope and trepidation that Mary must have felt knowing she was single and about to be wed but was sidetracked into a totally amazing heavenly storyline…being the mother of our wonderful Redeemer. I mean, think about it…our redeemer was born in a stable. With earthly parents on the run to ensure His safety. In a stable…a messy stable, with animals and straw and the other things that you find littered throughout a stable. Maybe pitchforks, dirty water troughs, and even pigs. It was definitely not like the Four Seasons that Christmas.
Our Savior was born to give hope and redemption to a broken world.
The early account of Christmas was pretty messy, wasn’t it?
This year, that mess really gives me hope.
As we draw closer to Christmas, as well as the end of another year, I have been reflecting on all the craziness that we call life. Our family has faced more trials and sorrows than one couple should have to endure in a lifetime, let alone a year if you ask me. But no one ever said life would be easy, or perfect, did they? And even in the midst of so much sorrow, there has been so much joy and deep friendships made along the way.
How has your year been? Chances are, you’ve faced many joys, as well as trials and sorrows this year too. And if I had to guess, you are bringing many trials and heartaches into your Christmas celebration.
Go back and read the events leading up to the first Christmas that unfold in the Gospel of Matthew and Luke. See the story for what it really is. A huge mess that God used for a beautiful eternal purpose. A mess that weaved into it great redemption. The ultimate redemption. The birth of a Savior that died a horrible, bloody, messy death to save you and me.
This Christmas season, take your burdens and your cares and your worries and all your family relationship drama, and sadness to Jesus. Let Him heal you from that brokenness. And know that God will take all the broken messes of this earthly life and weave them into something beautiful. Just like the messy story that unfolds during the first Christmas.
Have yourself a messy little Christmas.
May God heal your hurts this season.