advent devotional day 8, he knows all we go through

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.  She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Our King is born  
Though we honor Jesus’ actual birth on the 25th, given the opportunity to work creatively with Scripture, I am honoring the moment in writing today, instead.  I sure hope you don’t mind!  It’s a joyful preview of the day to come, the day we are all eager to celebrate.  On the heels of a day diving into the time spent traveling our journey and embracing milestones, let’s focus on humanity’s greatest milestone: the night our sweet Savior was born.  It still amazes me all that Mary went through…

By faith alone, she traveled to Bethlehem.

By faith alone she accepted the “no vacancy” at the inn.

And by faith alone she pained and labored and delivered a son next to animals and on top of straw and dirt and “God only knows” what else.  She wrapped her child in whatever she found and spent her first moments with him in that straw, among those animals.

She could only do what she could do, but she did it.  Nowadays, how many women cannot get by without their doctor on speed dial?  Or their suitcase for the hospital, packed?  Or the nursery complete and ready to go?  How many women “just cannot do it” without toys and clothes and swings and jumpers?

By faith, Mary did it.

The Lord just amazes me more and more each day.  When I first read into the details of Jesus’ birth, it took me completely by the heart.

Hebrews 4:15a NIV says:

 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses..”

Jesus came into this world the same way we did.  Mary delivered him just the way we deliver our children now.  He grew and formed in her womb, and He was born to the world an infant.  Knowing that He was first an infant, it is clear God wanted us to have a Savior we could relate to.  Jesus knew every pain and temptation from infancy to His adulthood, and so every human can call to Him.  Even small children can share a quiet moment with their King, who was once a small boy running and playing with His friends.  Jesus could have been sent as a grown man, but God sent Him to grow into that man.

One thing I found so tender about this portion of scripture is the mention of the swaddling cloths.  When our babies are born, the first thing we do is wrap them and snuggle them.  It’s one of the first acts of service to our newborn.  We are nurturing and acting on behalf of our children for the first time, now that they are out of the womb.  God not only gave Mary the opportunity to enjoy her son from the very beginning, but to serve He who was sent to serve everyone!

He is so thorough, and He always comes full-circle.

Parenting is and always will be the most high-demand, emotional, and exhilarating job on earth.  What better way to prime the Savior than to plug Him into that experience and allow Him to grow an empathetic heart for the world He would grow to save?  As mothers we may become defeated by the tasks of the day and the gradual depletion of energy, but when we lean on the fact that Mary likely felt this way in her own motherhood, we are blessed to find ourselves in great company!  When our children tug on our clothes and beg to be lifted up, know that Jesus as a baby did the same thing.  When we cry over their innocence and pray for their best life, know that Mary did the exact same thing.

think about it:

Jesus grew as a son, 
who’s mother was tired and snuck away to pray, 
and was tugged on by a needy little boy, 
and was emotional and prayerful over Him.

Jesus became a man 
that would go to a quiet place to be with the Lord, 
pass through crowds where people pulled on his clothes, 
and would cry for His children in the end.

He knows all we go through girls.  All of it.

What aspects of Jesus’ life
do you think help you to know He can empathize with you?

Have you struggled in knowing
that the Son of God could know your worries and struggles?

How has becoming a mother helped you to further understand the Lord’s design?

Spend time in contemplation today about your place in the world and knowing that you came here the same way Jesus did; that you were formed just as He was.  Know that God cares for you and want you to have an intercessor who has been there; who knows every struggle you do.    Praise Him for His loving creativity and open up all of your concerns and temptations to Him.  Know that He can empathize with you!

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