From Claudia Mair Burney:
Friday, the first week of Advent
“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the Inn.” Luke 2:7
One of the biggest myths that I bought into as a new believer was that the Christian life was a seamless journey to heaven, and Jesus would make everything better. I may have even had a t-shirt with what looked like the Coca Cola logo that proclaimed as much. While it’s true that Jesus has made everything better, my journey to meet Him face to face has been far from seamless. Even Jesus had it rough: He was conceived by an unwed teen; the king put a contract out on him while his mother was pregnant, and he was born in a filthy stable because there was no room in the Inn for a woman ripe with child, because of a government-mandated event. Yet we find no evidence in the verse above that the holy family complained bitterly about their fate that day. Does their response mirror your own, not just to the challenges, but the harshest tribulations of life?
Gathering whatever supplies beckon you, record your troubles, whatever they are, on strips of paper, or whatever you wish. Then wrap them up, and give them to the Prince of Peace. If you have a Nativity set, try placing these wise man and woman offerings by the Baby. Then, go in peace, my loves.
Patient Lord and Master,
I don’t know how to suffer. I’m afraid to even have this conversation with you for fear that more pain and hardship will come my way. But this is silliness. You’ve already told us in the Gospels that in this world we would have tribulations. Help me to remember that you are with me, and that you will not put more suffering on me than I can bear. Lord, you endured far more than I will ever have to. Help me to look upon you always, and take strength for my journey from your example. When I am cowering in fear of the darkness of life, illuminate me.
“Come, Lord Jesus.”