Posted by: everynation | December 15, 2007

A Necessary Inconvenience

Marie Bonifacioby Marie Bonifacio

It’s almost Christmas and the activities have begun! I always want to try something new so I thought instead of having dinner in our usual dining room, what if i did a dinner party in the garage and convert it into an ‘authentic” manger theme? Pile on some hay, borrow (!) a cow, donkey, goat, pig(dress it up like a sheep) and put a manger there?
Have everyone come in Bibleish head gear then have dinner by candlelight under the stars? (Have pita bread, hummus dip, kebabs,etc…)

That idea had to be scrapped the moment it was born. Hay and candles don’t mix! (fire hazard), the neighbors might complain with all the mooing and the oinking, plus it seemed kind of cruel to have a cow and or pig watch us eat their fellow brethren.

So back to the real manger scene and the original Christmas Story…

The truth is, if I were in Mary’s shoes (I mean sandals), I’d be offended. Here I am, a godly teenage girl, living a godly, peaceful life about to marry a godly guy,minding my own business, then God comes along and changes EVERYTHING. Now people are talking and saying nasty things about me and my reputation.

Not only that, I’m 9 months pregnant with my first baby and I have to travel and give birth in a strange land, away from the comforts of home, without the reassuring presence of my mother beside me. The only one with me is my husband who is not even the father of my baby!

God really turned Mary’s life upside down. Her life didn’t turn out the way she expected it to be.

How easy it is to take offense, especially when you’re a Christian. You follow God diligently and in a way, you expect life to follow a certain formula. And when it doesn’t, we get mad. It becomes tempting for us to look at other people’s lives and think “God, you’re unfair.” “Why did my life have to turn out this way?” “Their life is easier.”

While Mary and her tummy were tumbling up and down the road to Bethlehem, her fellow teenagers were single and carefree. Not only that, God had all the power to wake up the shepherds and light up the skies with His heavenly angels, which He did, so why couldn’t he wake up just ONE innkeeper, put the fear of the Lord in him and tell him in a booming voice, “Reserve the best room for my Son!!!” Then Jesus didn’t have to be born in a stinky cow barn.

Surely He knew when Mary was due. Surely He knew the destiny of this child she carried.
Why did He have to let them go through all that trouble?

If I were God, I would have told Mary, “It’s ok. You’re excused from the journey. And because you’ve been so obedient, I’m going to give you a problem-free life. And you know Herod and all those people who wrote and spoke all those nasty things about you? I’ll just zapp them with lightning right now.” (KABOOM!)

Nope, God didn’t do any of that. He allowed Mary & Joseph to experience their unique struggles. Some,even life-threatening ones. All the more does Mary’s response become all the more amazing : ” My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior..”

Her soul, which could have easily been offended by unmet expectations, burdened by God-given cares and hardened by the insensitivity of people, chose instead to magnify the Lord and not her problems. “Let it be done to me, according to Thy Word.”

Mary’s difficulty was part of her testimony.
And so do the struggles we face, become part of ours.
Life is a journey we live, and God promises to travel the road with us.
He is always in control. Despite the Herods of this world.

When others see us respond in faith in the midst of our personal troubles, the opportunity for Christ to be born in their hearts becomes very real.

God interrupted Mary’s life and she responded in faith.
Her Savior had come. It was well with her soul.

“And blessed is she that believed;
for there shall be a fulfilment of the things
which have been spoken to her from the Lord.” Luke 1:45

Marie Bonifacio is the wife of the Wizard of Blog, and the mother of Joseph, David and Joshua. She is also an accomplished artist and blogovelist.

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Responses

  1. Hi Marie

    I love this! As you may have heard I am now exec head of media in Cape Town where we publish a Christian magazine that at present is being distributed in South Africa and UK, Ireland and a few other countries. If you ever feel like sending us an article – we always love to hear from powerful women of God who are in touch with the real world. By the way our vision is to “Honour God and exert a godly influence in todays world.”

    Look forward to hearing from you – oh yes and John is now happily back in the Every Nation thrust of things here in Africa and joins me in sending love

    Rona

  2. Yeah sis, best not try to figure all that Mary went through. It was a lot when you really think about it. But how encouraging to see the way it all ended. I guess God would want us to always trust his plans for our lives and not lean on our understanding. He is faithful and is in control. Thanks for sharing this. Yinka


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