Is it just me or do you ever wonder where God is in the details of your life?
I mean, we see the big stuff. The healing of sicknesses. Redeeming of hearts. Restoring marriages. Overcoming fear. The miracles which cannot be explained other than it had to be God.
But what about the details? What about the little things?
As I sit here, I am eternally grateful God healed my broken heart, that He restored my marriage, and has done (and continues to do) so much more than I ever expected. Yet, I find myself wondering . . . God, where are You in the little things? Do you care or have time to worry about the details of my life?
Which makes me ask a hard question. How much faith do I really have? Do I truly believe the scripture “And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV?
Or is my faith so limited I believe God will only turn His head to me when the big things arise?
It’s easy to see God in the big things. We praise and shout the big miracles to the world! But do we miss the little things?
At church yesterday, my pastor talked about the details of Jesus’s birth, and the not-so-comfortable environment Jesus was born into.
“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, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.” Luke 2:3-7 NLT
There… we see it again. God in the big! He sent His only Son to the earth to save us all. To give us a way to spend eternity with Him!
But wait… He allowed him to be born in a stable? He didn’t, at least, work out a cancellation at the Inn to give Jesus a little comfort as He entered the world?
Poor Mary, nine months pregnant, riding a donkey across country. And, of course, because of that long, bumpy, donkey ride, she goes into labor! I mean how many of us mothers got up and started doing crazy stuff just to get that human out of our bodies because IT WAS TIME!
Maybe we all should have grabbed a donkey and took off for a trail ride. Just a thought. 😉
God sent His Son to save us. Me. You. Huge Miracle!
But God sent his Son to two very unlikely, unmarried teenagers, that had to travel across country at the most inopportune time. And then God didn’t even work out a place for them to stay. What’s with that?
If I were Mary, I would have been thinking, “God, we are trying to be good servants here! What do you expect from us? You sent your Son for me to birth. Don’t get me wrong, I’m honored and grateful, but I don’t see any help from You in this. Your Son, the Savior of the world, and there is no glory in this situation at all. Joseph and I have been ridiculed for not being married yet. Then we have to travel to do this dumb census. There is no bed for me to rest. I’m stuck in this smelly barn with animals! And now… I’m in labor! I’m scared out of my mind and poor Jospeh won’t stop pacing and just be still. A mid-wife would be nice. Couldn’t you have stopped a minute to work out all these details before hand? Did you just drop this miracle on us and leave us to figure out the rest?”
But if we look at the story closer, maybe God was in the details. Yes, it was not the best circumstances. We would think God being born unto earth would be held to a much higher standard than a dirty stable, a feeding trough, sleeping in itchy hay, next to cows—and their manure. If I were God, (thank goodness I’m not) Jesus would have been born in the most extravagant palace of all the lands! Lavish celebrations would have gone on for months, maybe years. Everyone would have been there. Mary would be the most honored lady in all of the kingdom!
Yet, she was not. And Jesus was born in a rickety barn.
Maybe, just maybe, God was in the details and it played out exactly as He planned.
If they hadn’t been traveling and in Bethlehem, would the shepherds have come? Would there have been anyone to tell people about the Son of God’s birth? The Innkeeper didn’t turn them away completely. He gave them the only space he had left. Not perfect, but still better than a field and having a kid on pile of jagged rocks.
Would I be able to believe Jesus had experienced all I have experienced if He were born in a palace and celebrated as the one true King from the very beginning? Probably not. Often times we don’t see celebrities as real people. We can’t relate to them. They are untouchable.
Maybe being born in a stable was a way to make Him more real to us.
Maybe God was in that details fateful night in Bethlehem.
This simple entrance to the world allows us to see Jesus as a human first. And it was the beginning of Jesus’s proof of how much He loves us. It showed us His heart and humility. That even He, the Son of God, didn’t have it easy. He chose to be like us. He didn’t have to. But He wanted to.
You see, God is in the details. The problem we have is remembering that His thoughts and ways are not like our thoughts and ways. His way of dealing with the details may look different than our wish for Him to deal with our details.
God is not like us, with limited abilities and focus. He can be in every detail of every one of our lives all at the same time. And not only can He, but He promises that He will! His word says “I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you” over and over.
We must believe this and allow our faith to spread into the details of our lives.
Thank you, Pastor Dan, for sharing an inspiring message that made me think deeper about the details of the birth of our Lord and Savior.