Last week, when we were watching a Christmas program that my niece and nephew took part in, it totally hit me. God’s plans usually are very messy!
And I’m not saying, it’s messy like when we say to a guest visiting our house “Excuse the mess!” after we spent all day cleaning… I mean proper messy!
Messy to the point where a teenager was in charge of bearing the Savior of the World out of wedlock.
Messy to the point where, whilst heavily pregnant, she had to go on a road trip riding a donkey for God knows how long to get to Bethlehem for a census. Really?!
Have you ridden a donkey before? I haven’t but I can’t imagine it being comfortable. I went on a horseback ride for 1 hour a few years ago and I spent a good part of the following 2 days with a sore body. I can’t imagine how terrible it must’ve been doing it on the third trimester.
Add to that the fact that there was no accommodation available in the entire town, and they had to be put on a barn with animals to sleep in hay…. in FREAKING HAY!!!
Can you imagine your significant other dragging you on a “weekend away” to his hometown, in the middle of the boondocks, for admin purposes and when you get there you find out he forgot to book an Airbnb. I can tell you right now it would not go down well in our house.
And the cherry on the top, she goes into labor in said barn.
As a woman who never bore children I obviously have very strong feelings about this and would not be down with that… In fact, had I been tasked with the grace of bearing the savior of the world, I would expect a 5-star labor ward, with a great team of doctors, access to clean water, all the legal drugs available, and, if possible, a photographer to snap those first few hours of the baby’s life.
And then it hit me again that, just because His plans are messy, it doesn’t mean they’re not perfect!
As most people know, we’re in a transition period of life as we’re relocating to London, and let me tell you… it’s messy.
There’s the pain of leaving, hope for what is to come, anxiety about the details, boredom in the waiting and a myriad of other feelings that come with that experience.
Trust me, I’m a plans person and not knowing what the exact plan is, sometimes feels like torture. Who am I kidding?… all of the time feels like torture!!!
Will I find a job? Are we going to find a place to live? What about Brexit? Will we make new friends? Brexit? Brexit? BREXIT?!?! I’m plagued by these concerns daily.
But having the realization that just because I’m following His plan, it doesn’t mean it’ll be a smooth ride, brings me a lot of hope! Hope that I cannot mess up His plans for us. Hope that even when things seem to be out of control (like giving birth to the Savior in a barn) He is still very much in control! And hope that He’ll meet us and give us grace to deal with the mess of life!
So, my wish for you and me, in this season of Christmas, is that we let go of the picture that we have in our minds of what life should look like, and that we start expecting to meet Jesus in the messy chaos of life, knowing that just because it’s messy, it doesn’t mean it’s not perfect!
Merry Christmas everyone!