Christmas decor (44)

Sara wrote some beautiful posts about Christmas, and this month I’m going to share a few with you. I hope you are as encouraged and challenged by her words as I am!

Mary and Joseph didn’t just peacefully travel to Bethlehem on a donkey, as we see in the story books. They struggled. They ran out of food. They nearly lost their footing crossing a river and Mary prayed aloud that God would help them find a way to get through their journey.

She didn’t ask for a chariot. She didn’t ask for their way to be made simple. She didn’t ask for God to reveal His plan to all so she wouldn’t have to suffer the humiliation. She didn’t ask for it to be easy. Mary simply asked for help and strength.

And she was given both.

Sometimes it seems natural for us to think that life is supposed to be easy. Or, if we’re on the right path, that it should be made smooth for us. But if we can learn anything from Mary and Joseph, it’s that we should forge ahead doing right for right’s sake.

Whether the journey seems impossible, or it seems we deserve better, we need only remember that God’s own Son didn’t have an easy way into this life. Or out of it. But He was given the same help and strength that was given to His parents. The same help and strength that is offered to us every day if we choose to look, not beyond our circumstances, but in the midst of them.

Mary and Joseph didn’t wait until they were in a cozy home to be grateful that God had pulled them through. In the midst of the rough circumstances they found at the stable, they recognized the gift that had been entrusted to them.

This Christmas, as we think about what didn’t go quite right or how we may have wanted things to be easier, let’s stop and remember that just as Mary and Joseph found all those years ago, we too are always given blessings in the hay.

Read the full post at Sara’s blog here. And to learn more about choosing joy, read about Sara’s and my upcoming book here.

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