Incredible Faithfulness

While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough – because there was no room for them at the lodging place. – (Luke 2:6-7, HCSB)

While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have the baby. She gave birth to her first son. She wrapped him up well and laid him in a box where cattle are fed. She put him there because the guest room was full. – (Luke 2:6-7, ERV)

When they arrived in Bethlehem, Mary went into labor, and there she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped the newborn baby in strips of cloth, and Mary and Joseph laid him in a feeding trough since there was no available space in any upper room in the village. – (Luke 2:6-7, TPT)

I can’t help but think of Mary and her trust in God as she traveled far from home, very pregnant, knowing that she was likely to give birth while in Bethlehem. Alone in a cave where animals were kept, she and Joseph had to navigate the birth of this promised, blessed baby, in less than ideal conditions. Though a young girl, unmarried and in a seemingly compromised position, she and Joseph delivered the precious baby and wrapped Him in what they had and improvised to provide a safe space for Him to sleep. Imagine both the joy and sorrow as they welcomed Jesus into the world. Joy in the promise fulfilled as they held their firstborn son, yet sorrow in their solitude. No family surrounding them, despite the fact that the family had to have been in Bethlehem too for the census. What is spoken between the lines is the weight they bore and the trust they had in God and His promises. If God can help two young people navigate a lack of space to bring the Savior of the World to the earth, how much more can He help us through whatever challenges we face? God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He was faithful then, He is faithful now, and His faithfulness will not end. May we pause and ponder in awe and wonder as we consider the love and grace granted as Mary and Joseph successfully navigated the seemingly impossible. 

A woman ready,

To bring forth a son;

No place to give birth,

To the Holy One.

A lowly stable,

A cave in the earth;

With only creatures,

To witness the birth.

No bells or whistles,

To welcome the Son;

A quiet stable,

When the day was done.

It did not end there,

For God had much more;

To show they were seen,

And praise the Adored.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You show us Your faithfulness again and again. Thank You for sending Your Son in such humble beginnings as You show us Your incredible faithfulness through Mary, Joseph and Jesus. Forgive us for our lack of faith or our fear to trust, for You are the very meaning of trustworthy. Teach us to lean into You in the spaces that seem impossible or overwhelming, for You are so much greater than all that we face. Show us how to love those around us in tangible ways. May many come into a lasting relationship with You this Christmas season. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for Your unending faithfulness and remember the ways that You have provided again and again and again. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Lord, Your faithful love reaches to heaven, Your faithfulness to the clouds. – Psalm 36:5

Approach and Accept – for He is Good

image by Britt @ Encouragement for Everyday Struggles

image by Britt @ Encouragement for Everyday Struggles

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16

“Prayer is our approach to God, and we are to come ‘with confidence’.  Some Christians approach God meekly with heads hung low, afraid to ask Him to meet their needs.  Others pray flippantly, giving little thought to what they say.  Come with reverence because He is our King.  But also come with bold assurance because He is our Friend and Counselor.” – (NIV Study Bible footnotes)

One of our many blessings to behold this Christmas, (and always!) is our invitation to confidently approach His throne of grace, where we will receive NOT, the condemnation we deserve, but rather we will be met with the mercy of our Maker, and granted grace to guide us through our every need.  Because He dwells in the hearts of all who believe, we don’t have to go somewhere special to seek Him.  He hears every word whispered from the hollows of our hearts, and is permanently prepared to present us with His mercy and grace as we allow our hearts to ask Him.

He who came as a blessed baby boy, seemingly ordinary to the untrained eye, lived among us, grew mightily, lived, loved, led the lost, died, and defeated the grave so that the way would be made for each of us to come to know Him and His hope and help, that is held in open hands to all who come to believe.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You made the way so that we can come confidently before You for forgiveness, help, hope and healing.  Thank You that You know our needs individually, and that You are with us in all things and at all times.  Forgive us for our fears and for our flippancy, and fuel our faith so that we might come confidently and reverently before You, trusting in the truth that You are always good.  Teach us to be willing to both ask and receive all that You have for us.  Allow our hearts to hold all hope in You, and may it overflow to all who are around us.  May every heart hear Your hymn of hope this blessed Christmas season.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present