I can't imagine the terrible burden it must've been on Mary and Joseph to have to travel to Bethlehem, due to their government's desire to track and tax the people, some 2000 years ago (Imagine a 5-7 day, 15-20 miles per day, journey on a donkey's back while 9 months pregnant). It was even worse that when they arrived in Bethlehem, after their horrible traveling, that there wasn't a home, hotel or even a single bedroom available for them to stay in. Instead they were left with a stable. Animals, their food and ick, and a baby delivery.
Mary and Joseph didn't act like victims and throw a fit and say "Hey! You said this baby was going to be a King! Where's the super high-tech royal delivery room and hospital suite?" They dealt with what they had been given, a dirty, dark, lonely place for animals, and because of this, we get a chance to see what kind of Savior He is. Phillip Yancey puts it perfectly,
“Once they have seen Him in a stable, they can never be sure where He will appear or to what great lengths He will go or to what ludicrous depths of self-humiliation He will descend in His wild pursuit of man.…”
Romans 8:28 says, "We are assured and know that all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose."
Mary and Joseph knew their God would take all things, even the bad, hard, trying things and would work then together for good. Because they allowed God to use their lives to serve His purpose, we, now over 2000 years later have a chance to see to what great lengths He will go in His wild pursuit of us.
Sheesh, to know this, is a gift itself.
This Christmas, be reminded to let Him use your life to serve His amazing purpose and who knows what your life may reveal to us about our great Savior King.
Have a Merry Christmas!