…And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. Luke 2: 7
If you have ever given birth, I don’t have to tell you about the incredible and completely indescribable experience that it is. Nothing can really compare to that moment when your child is born, especially your first one. I’ve only given birth once, and it was a baby boy, so of course, I can perfectly relate to Mary in that respect. I was, however, at a hospital facility with all the modern conveniences the first world can provide. My son’s “manger” was a meticulously sterilized bassinet and his “swaddling clothes” were a white baby blanket with blue stripes and a funny looking hat. All the comforts of modern living surrounded me, including a super-sized meal as reward for 16 hours of labor. I was starving! I had everything I could have possibly needed, even though my son, as much as I love him and consider him the king of my heart, was no King of the world.
Mary didn’t have any of it and she was carrying the King of Kings in her womb. She had nothing at all, not even a place to rest her tired body let alone to give birth. On that blessed night, Joseph and his bride were, by all standards, homeless. God found a way, however, to bring His Holy Son to this world. And it happened just the way He had intended it. It happened exactly according to plan. This humble entrance into the physical realm showed the world that nothing the world deems precious is really necessary. Nothing material can contain the Divine. Nothing man-made is required to receive The Lord.
You don’t need to have given birth to realize Mary’s predicament on that night in Bethlehem. Lacking the most basic conveniences to bring a child to this world is nobody’s idea of a well-planned celebration of such a life-changing moment. But Mary and her presumably terribly frightened and frustrated husband survived by the Providence of the Most High. He kept watch over this chosen couple and walked them through such a challenging night, ushering them into a life filled with even greater challenges and heart-breaking events. Joseph and Mary did not have it easy from the very beginning, but, oh, the reward! Look what they got to be: The earthly parents of the Savior of Mankind - not too shabby, huh? I guess putting up with a bit of discomfort is not all together that bad after all if at the end of it we get Jesus.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18