Not everything happens the way we think it should…God brought forth the most amazing of miracles…the most important miracle of ALL time…in a hidden place. The culmination of this miracle that Mary and Joseph had waited 9 months for was happening – not out in public for all to see – but in the most hidden of places….
At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. (Luke 2:1-7)
Last year my son wanted one thing for Christmas….ONE thing. And it made me sad that he wouldn’t open that many gifts. So….I hid his gift and wrapped up clues instead. Each clue he unwrapped sent him on a scavenger hunt for his gift. He got to open lots of “gifts” but was thrilled with his ONE actual gift. It was not under the tree where you would expect to find it….it was in a hidden, secret place.
At the end of Mary’s pregnancy, Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem for a census. The emperor decided to tax the people, and the men had to go to their birth cities to be counted. The women didn’t have to go, but Joseph took Mary with him. Maybe he didn’t want to miss the birth of the baby since she was due soon. They weren’t married yet, so maybe she was scorned for being pregnant before they were married and he wasn’t comfortable leaving her alone. If he left her alone, maybe everyone would figure he was leaving her and scorn her even more….or worse.
For whatever reason, he took Mary with him, and it came time for her to have the baby, but there were no rooms available for them. Someone offered them his stable so they would be out of the elements, and they took it. It was better than nothing, right?
I’m sure it is not what Mary had pictured when she dreamed of someday having a baby. She wasn’t at home, surrounded by loved ones to help her. She wasn’t even in a bed in a room in a house. She was out with the animals. It wasn’t sanitary. I’m sure it had all the lovely smells of a barn. She probably didn’t even have His “going home from the hospital” outfit with her, so she had to make due with whatever they had.
There was no bassinet or crib or bed to lay Him in, so they cleaned out the manger (AKA the feeding trough…nice!) and filled it with some hay and laid Him there to rest when she wasn’t holding Him.
So the King was born. Jesus. The Son of the Most High God. The Savior of the World. The One the angel spoke to her about. The most important person who would ever be born on this Earth was born almost in secret…in a hidden place. No pomp or circumstance. No onlookers. Only a select few were even aware He was coming.
God brought forth the most amazing of miracles…the most important miracle of ALL time…in a hidden place. The culmination of this miracle that Mary and Joseph had waited 9 months for was happening – not out in public for all to see – but in the most hidden of places.
Her faith became sight in that quiet hidden place, and now it was a part of her everyday life. He was her Son.
Some people cast Him aside as a possibility for Messiah because of his hidden birth. He wasn’t what they expected as a King. But sometimes the most powerful works of God are not what they seem and happen in secret and hidden places, behind the scenes.
Sometimes it is easy to get frustrated and give up waiting for our miracle. But please be encouraged. God is working in the hidden places and behind the scenes for you. It’s just a matter of time until faith becomes sight. He is faithful, and it won’t be long until that thing that you have longed for and dreamed for and prayed for is part of your everyday life.
So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. (Hebrews 10:35-36)