I love the Christmas Season. I can’t help it. As a child, I believed in Santa with all of my heart. When I found out he didn’t exist, my heart broke and Christmas lost its magic. Then, I became a Christ-follower. And Christmas took on a whole new meaning.
I recently read a devotion by John Maxwell talking about what happens when we follow a star and end up in a stable. It got me thinking….a lot. I’ve followed a star and have ended up in the stable. Dirty. Stinky. Gross. Dark. Have you been there? Have you followed a dream, a calling, a star, and ended up in the stable?
Let’s talk about the journey following the star. I expected it to be easy. God called me, so the process to get to the destination should be pretty easy….right? Not even close! The road to where God leads us can be rocky, hard to climb, dry. Or it can be too wet and uncomfortable. The road is normally difficult. And at times, I’ve sat down and thought, “I don’t want to go any farther. I can’t, Lord. It’s too much for me.”
And then I look up. I see the Star, brightly shining, beckoning me to keep on keeping on, no matter the difficulties. So, I push myself up from the ground, thinking where God is leading me is going to be perfect. Because, after all, I’m following a shining star. It’s beautiful. Therefore, so will my destination.
I finally reach the end of the road, and what do I discover? A stable. An animal filled, (which I am not fond of by the way), stinky, dirty, dank, and downright awful ending to my long and arduous destination. I fold my arms across my chest, huff and puff about the unfairness of it all, and stomp my foot like a four year old.
And then, the most amazing thing happens. In the darkness, I discover I’m not alone. I never have been. The Christ-child born in that stable never wanted me to take the journey on my own. He grew to be a man, dies on the cross, rose again, and sent the Helper to be with me.
The destination I’d been hoping to find? It’s not really a destination at all, but part of the journey. The stinky stable I reached? Well, it isn’t the end.
Let’s put it in perspective. Have you lost your job or your husband came home and said he was laid off? It’s part of the journey. It sucks. But it isn’t the end. Did you receive news the tumor is cancerous? It’s pretty dark in that stable, isn’t it? Feel alone? Jesus is still with you. He’ll walk you through it. Whether the healing be here on earth or on the other side, you will be healed. Have you lost a child before its time? Miscarriage shake your world? Heartbreak happen in your family or with your friends? You’re not alone. It feels like it, for sure. But this is just a part of the stable. You won’t be here for ever.
For those who have gone to the stable expecting a mansion (like me), I’m sorry for the pain and hurt you have gone through. This isn’t the end, though.
So as you follow the star and end up in the stable, you’re not alone. Jesus is with you. And He provides others in this world to accompany you in the stable. Mary wasn’t alone in the stable. Neither are you.