Why This Way?

Christmas time always leaves me pondering the question, “Why did you do it that way, God?”  We understand that Jesus came so that He could die for our sins, but just because He was destined to die a horrible death, did that mean He also had to live a stressful life?  Think about it.  If you knew you were sending your son to die the most gruesome death imaginable, wouldn’t you have made certain that His life up to that point was glorious?

If I were God, I think I would have allowed Jesus to be born in a palace.  He would have been loved and revered by all.  For the entirety of His life, He would want for nothing.  He would have riches, fame, friends. . . anything and everything His heart could desire.  Life would be good and easy.  After all, even that would be a step down from the splendor of Heaven.  It was the very least Jesus deserved.  He was coming to die, so surely it wouldn’t have hurt anything to allow Him to live in comfort until that time, right?

Actually, it would have ruined everything.  If Jesus had been born to royalty, how would the common man ever understand Him?  If He had grown up with the wealthy and privileged, how could He ever relate to the poor and discontented?  His humble birth and upbringing were gifts to us so that we would forever know that Jesus has been in our shoes.  He’s walked the road of disappointment and grief.  He’s carried the load of sorrows and frustration.  He knows what it’s like to be tired, hungry, disliked, mocked, disbelieved and much more.  Whatever we face in this life, Jesus can comfort us and say, “I understand, child.  I’ve been there.”

There’s genuine peace in confiding in someone who truly “gets” us.  We understand when someone is sympathizing with us and when they’re empathizing.  There’s a light of recognition when someone shares our cares and concerns, and if nothing else, we’re comforted by the fact that we’re not the only ones going through that particular trial.  Our situation is not unique to us.

Christmas time brings about a lot of joy, but it also has a tendency to bring about sadness.  Grief over a loved one who won’t be joining in the fun this season.  Sorrow over another year that has come and gone without bringing about the changes for which we’ve been praying.  Sadness for things that are beyond our control.  But I would like to remind you that Jesus knows what you’re going through.  He’s been there, and He can see you through your difficult situations.  In fact, it was important enough to Him that He bypassed a privileged existence just so that we could hear the words, “Yes, child, I know what you mean.  I’ve been there too.”  If He loves us enough to experience it along with us, then we know He loves us enough to help us make it through.  Hang in there, and as you celebrate this season, remember that He came, why He came and how He came.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. - Luke 2:7