1.Overnight bag filled with the necessities. Check!
2. Announcements filled in and addressed (except for the birth stats). Check!
3. Baby sitter lined up for the kids at home. Check!
4. Pedicure, manicure, haircolor, wax (wouldn’t want to scare the doctor!). Check!
The preparations that an expectant mother goes through just before the birth of her child can be extensive. A clean house, newly painted nursery, baby clothes washed and folded into drawers. They call this nesting; like a mother bird that builds a safe place; solid and cozy, for her imminent blessing.
2000 years ago, the preparation for the most important birth in the history of the world, looked quite different. There were no rooms to paint, houses to clean, salons to visit… I don’t even think that baby clothes were packed for the journey that lay ahead.
The Savior of the world, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, was born in the lowliest of places. No comfy bed to curl up in or walls of a home to block the wind and rain; only straw and simple wrappings to keep Him warm.
Humble without a doubt.
This picture of humble origins reminds me that Jesus came to live like us; to experience what the lowliest experience and to serve with everything that He had and everything that He was. God did not pave His way with ease, as He undoubtedly deserved; He felt what we feel, and struggled as we struggle.
Mary, in preparation for the birth of her Son, did not visit a doctor or take it easy on the couch. Her preparation included miles and miles of harsh weather, challenging landscape and possibly hunger and thirst. We are not told of those struggles in the bible story, but I suspect that the things that she endured would challenge our views of our own struggles. It’s much easier to complain about the struggles that we endure when we keep our eyes focused on ourselves. But when we compare them to the struggles of others – our perspective can change.
I believe that Mary, during those long and arduous hours astride a donkey, prepared herself with prayer and thanksgiving. I’m sure she prayed for safe travels - and when they appeared to be not-so-safe; prayers for strength and thanksgiving for God’s protection. I imagine that she prayed continually during her journey, so that when the time came for God to bring His promises to pass – she would be ready.
What are you doing to prepare for what God has asked of you?
Are you spending time in prayer for strength and a safe journey?
Have you offered prayers of thanksgiving for the times that God has blessed you with protection?
Our spiritual preparation I daresay is one of the most important actions that we can take in preparing for our callings. Our calling can be as simple as being a godly parent or an honorable wife or friend. Where God has placed you in your life is exactly where you should be.
Do it to the best of your ability – but make sure that you are preparing for the journey!
I pray that God blesses your way and keeps you in His arms during your travels.