Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | December 16, 2021

Mess In The Manger

“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger because there was no place for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7)

He doesn’t love me.  He’s not listening to me.  How could He allow all this mess in my life if He loved me?  It just stinks.

My heart went out to her.  I understood exactly how she felt.  I had uttered those same words myself at times in my own journey. She was sobbing uncontrollably at all the things in her life that was going wrong.  Adamant on the fact that God must not love her, otherwise He would fix all this mess in her life.

Surely God can’t be involved in it if there’s a mess involved right? Wrong.

When we think of the Christmas story, we conjure up a perfect nativity scene with Mary and Joseph looking at baby Jesus in wide-eyed awe.

But they were in a manger.  A manger is a trough used to feed animals.

If you’ve ever been in a barn with animals, you know two things. One is to be careful where you walk.  You never know what you might step in. Two, hold your nose because the smell of the animals (and their droppings) is not pleasant.

All of us who have experienced childbirth know that you want everything perfect for your baby’s arrival.  Mary had spent hours riding on a donkey in the cold weather to get to Bethlehem. Then she had to lay on straw surrounded by animals.  There most likely wasn’t fresh towels and hot water being brought to help her during her delivery.  She was left to birth this precious gift of hope in a stinky situation. Imagine how people must have treated her, a young woman, pregnant before marriage.  I wonder if she ever felt abandoned by God.  She had been told she was going to give birth to a Savior, yet here she was in an uncomfortable place.

There was mess in the manger friends.  Because mess is a sign of life, not a lack of God’s love.  The only time a manger is clean is when there are no animals in it. (Proverbs 14:4).

Our lives may be filled with troublesome circumstances, but God can still birth beautiful things from it. Just like in the manger, we need to be careful where we walk on this earth as Satan is on the prowl “seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

We have a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus that we have an inheritance in Heaven that no mess on earth can destroy. (1 Peter 1:3-6)

When the aroma of this life makes us feel alone – we can remember another name for the birth of hope in that manger -Emmanuel, God is with us. (Mathew 1:23)

“Father help us to trust you with the mess in our lives.” 

For His Glory,

Laura Holmes
TRBC Women’s Life

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