Christmas can be full of unrealistic expectations of ourselves and those around us. We expect things to go a certain way. We expect to receive and give. We expect our family functions will go smoothly, without chaos. Let’s face it, we have an expectation each year at Christmas of what is to come. When we set our expectations on our own wants, desires and wishes, we are bound to be disappointed. This Christmas, do not let false expectations ruin your Christmas spirit or joy. Read these words paraphrased from Luke 2: 1-7 about a major expectation that played out a lot differently than people originally anticipated: The birth of the Messiah.
I always keep My promises, even when it seems unlikely by worldly standards. I showed this when I gave the declaration that My Son, The Messiah, would be born in Bethlehem, and I made it so. The Roman emperor, Augustus, mandated a Roman registration to collect taxes. The timing was all according to My premediated plan to ensure the prophecy about Jesus’ birth would be fulfilled. In all times, I work my will according to My good plan, even when it doesn’t seem obvious. Each citizen had to return to their town of origin to register. This meant Joseph, a descendant of David, had to go to David’s hometown of Bethlehem, leaving behind his own hometown of Nazareth in Galilee. At this time, Mary was close to giving birth. I ensured their safety and provision as they made this long journey. I strengthened them to be able to complete My will, as I do for all my beloved children. They embraced the journey in faith, trusting Me to provide all that they needed. My plan is always for the greater good, even when your expectations aren’t My own. While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for My Son to be born. Intentionally, Jesus Christ came into the world in a dark and dirty environment, symbolizing the world he entered – full of darkness and sin. But, he would shine brightly like the star I placed in the sky. He was placed, wrapped in strips of cloth, in the most humble of places – a manger, a feeding trough for animals. People expected The Messiah to be from a palace, like most Kings. But my plan was far greater. A humble start for the Prince of Peace defying expectations but showing that My plan was at work. A manger to symbolize the spiritual food that My Son would provide, and by approaching him anytime, one will never hunger. Jesus Christ is the bread of life, feeding your very souls, just as I intended it to be. Don’t allow your expectations to limit what you think I am capable of. Always trust in Me, especially when I defy your expectations.
God the Father
Luke 2:1-7, paraphrased.
- Is there a time that you can reflect on and see where you thought God wasn’t at work, but he defied your expectations?
- Where is God currently calling you to a deeper level of obedience or trust where He wants to defy your expectations?
- What does Jesus’ humble beginning demonstrate or mean to you?
Alternate verses for your reflection:
- John 6:35
- John 6:47-51
- Jeremiah 15:16
- Philippians 1:20
- Luke 7:35-40