I’ve been in many a barn in my life. Most were bigger than the normal house, with large rounded roofs and a cool hay loft near the top.
My favorite barn from my childhood had mounds upon mounds of hay bales tucked inside, big enough to make forts in. Oh, what fun we had in playing in the hay.
But I also remember the smells accompanying these barns. Those weren’t so fun. Mixed aromas of hay, animals and the stench that goes with them. Some would compound to the point it was hard for me to breathe inside.
When I think of Baby Jesus born in a stable, in my mind I picture one of these barns.
I can’t imagine being born in a barn.
And worse yet, I can’t image giving birth to either of my children in one. Oh my goodness, no.
Nativity scenes are numerous this time of year (but yet, I see less and less of them with each passing Christmas). I have a special set in our home, complete with a stable and the angel Gabriel, the three wise men, the shepherd and sheep, a couple camels, and ox and donkey. They surround Joseph, Mary and Jesus, lying in a manger.
I also can’t imagine laying my baby in a feed trough full of hay as his first bed. Can you??
You and I were probably born in better conditions than Jesus. It’s no wonder many of us marvel at the birth conditions of the Savior of the world.
Why wasn’t He born in a palace, fit for a king? After all, He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
Why wasn’t His bed made of the finest linens and bedding? God’s Son deserves the best.
Why was His first breath filled with stable aromas, and His first sounds of animal noises? That’s not the way to welcome God’s Son into the world.
It doesn’t make much sense, does it? Was God too busy to notice His Son was being born? Could He not have arranged for His Baby to be born somewhere else?
He is God, after all.
When we know in our hearts God is God, we understand He doesn’t make mistakes. God knew exactly what He was doing having His very own Son born in a stable. He placed the One Who would save His people from destruction in a manger. He was with Jesus as He took His first earthly breath, full of stable smells.
God brought His Son to earth this way to live in the real world. The real world you and I live in. To experience what we experience. To grasp the harsh reality this world is full of. To walk in our shoes, so to speak.
And to offer us hope from One Who understands.
Friend, Jesus has been there.
Life without ease. Jesus lived it.
Homelessness, poverty. He’s been there.
Denial, humiliation. It was His daily experience.
Desertion, loneliness. Those closest abandoned Him.
Sadness, sorrow. He grieved deaths, and mourned loss.
Physical pain. He experienced more than you and I will ever.
Is there a situation or circumstance that has taken you nearly to your breaking point? Have you been hurt so badly you can’t see how you’re going to go on? Are you walking through a time of lack or loss?
And on top of it all, you think no one understands?
May you be reminded today, and this Christmas, Jesus gets it. He understands.
May His humble birth remind you and me no one understands more than He does.
He invites you to come to Him. To allow Him to carry your burden. To walk with you through the circumstance. He is with you.
With each nativity scene we gaze upon in the coming days, I pray we’re reminded of this life-impacting truth.
Much love to you, today.
Linking up with Kelly for #RaRaLinkup.
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