A Rough Ride
Picture yourself nine months pregnant. Ok, for us guys that may be a little more difficult. Nine months pregnant is not the most comfortable time of the pregnancy. From what I understand, since I haven’t actually been there, you have this child tap dancing on your bladder. They kick and wake you up at night--that is if you get comfortable enough to sleep. Walking can be tricky at times, not to mention the getting up to walk. I am sure glad I have my children, and even more joyful that I did not have to carry them!
Now, take this lovely picture I have painted of the ninth month of pregnancy and put it on a donkey. Yea, that is what most likely happened with Mary. She’s close to the time of delivery when word comes that there will be a census. We could say, and history does, that it was decreed by Cesar Augustus. In reality it was God inspired in the same way He inspired Cyrus (Ezra 1:1) and Xerxes (Esther 6:1). So because of this census, Joseph and Mary have to travel to Bethlehem. In comes the donkey. Scriptures don’t mention one, but it was the most likely form of transportation in a situation like this. Whether walking or bouncing on the back of an animal, it had to be uncomfortable.
Why couldn’t God have made this easier? There were already some aspects of this pregnancy that Mary had to deal with, like what people were thinking about her rushed marriage? Going forward, she was about to deliver this child, not in a bed in a nice home, with family supporting her, but in a manger with animals surrounding her. It just seems like God could have made this much easier on her.
Doesn’t it feel the same way in our lives at times? Couldn’t God have made it easier on me trying to follow Him? Why do I have to deal with these things? It may be dealing with a physical ailment or discomfort. It could be someone or more than one person that you have to interact with. The difficulty could be of the emotional nature, one that no one else sees or knows. Or it could be just the way life seems to slap us around at times. Why does it have to be so difficult?
I remember a conversation about pregnancy I had with Holly once. She was curious if I felt slighted or jealous at all that I did not get to carry our children for the first nine months of their life. AAAAHHHHH!!!! No way! Why would I want to have my body go through all of that?! But to her it was more than worth it to be part of that journey and in the end to hold in her arms that precious baby she had carried for nine months. The end result made the difficulties of the journey not so bad.
The end result of our journey through this life is Heaven with our Heavenly Father. The end result of that rough ride to Bethlehem was salvation for all man. In all the hoopla of the holidays take a step back and think about Mary’s journey and how it ended. Think about the end result of the journey we are on. Find comfort in the fact that though the journey may be rough at times, the end makes it worth it. Have a blessed Christmas as we remember the birth of our Savior, and the eternity He brought each of us!
Focusing on the end of the journey,