This is a guest post from Jason Ayres – a teacher in Sydney, Australia who has guest posted on this blog before. Jason - who suffers from cerebral palsy, a disorder that affects brain and nervous system functions - gives us a wonderfully uplifting and encouraging perspective regarding our own circumstances as we approach this Christmas season. And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
For most of you, the journey to Christmas will be a cold one. I’ve been reading that parts of the USA have been received immense amounts of snow, much earlier than usual. Also, throughout Europe, it’s been a cold and wet winter so far as well.
But that isn’t a problem for me. That’s because I live in Sydney, Australia. And especially with the "climate change" that everyone’s talking about, it’s even hotter this year than usual. So all we can do is dream of having a “white Christmas.”
But here’s the thing: even though it doesn’t look like Christmas or feel like Christmas, it’s still Christmas.
It may not look like it’s supposed to look (no snow) or feel like it’s supposed to feel (it’s hot and humid); but IT’S STILL CHRISTMAS!
Let’s go back to the first Christmas journey – the one taken by Joseph and Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Mary had Jesus in her womb. Joseph had Mary and Jesus on his mind. All three had a tiring and stressful journey – one that only got more stressful when they actually arrived at what they thought was their final destination for the night.
“No room here...try the next inn.” “Nope. All booked here as well. Try next door.” “I really wish I could help you guys out, but there isn’t anything I can do. Sorry.”
Joseph and Mary (and Baby Jesus too) didn’t end up in an inn; they instead ended up in a barn. That was where they spent the first Christmas night. Not exactly the ideal place/way to spend the most important night in the history of the world.
To us, it may seem like a strange place to give birth to the Messiah; but in God’s plan it all made sense. He had a plan and He knew what He was doing, even if it didn’t appear like it at the time.
Now, I'm ashamed to admit it, but this is the part of the story where I get a little emotional. This is the part where I feel like something just isn’t right. You see, for me, I’ve been struggling with a certain health issue for quite some time now, and I’ve been praying about it for just as long. And it just seems like there’s no reason why God doesn’t solve this problem like I know He can.
"Where's this going God? Can’t You see I'm in trouble? Why aren’t You fixing this?!"
I’m sure Joseph and Mary were tempted to think the same thing that first Christmas night as well.
“Why are we sleeping in a barn if this is truly the Son of God being born into the world? Something just isn’t right here.”
The first Christmas service ever was held in a barn. It doesn’t seem right to us, but apparently Jesus didn’t mind. And neither did Joseph or Mary or the shepherds or the wise men either. They all realized that what was happening there was something special EVEN THOUGH it didn’t appear exactly the way they hoped it would have on the outside.
How about you? What are you anxious about this Christmas season? Bills to pay? Problems that need solving? Problems that can NEVER be solved? What is it that is making you say “Christmas would be just perfect if God would just solve _____.”
Remember what the angel said that very first Christmas night:
“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11
It might not always look the way we thought it would or feel the way we hoped it would... but in the end, it’s still Christmas.