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From One Father to Another

From One Father to Another

Dec 16, 2011

This isn’t the way I planned it, God. Not at all. My child being born in a sta­ble? This isn’t the way I thought it would be. A cave with sheep and don­keys, hay and straw? My wife giv­ing birth with only the stars to hear her pain?

This isn’t at all what I imag­ined. No, I imag­ined fam­ily. I imag­ined grand­moth­ers. I imag­ined neigh­bors clus­tered out­side the door and friends stand­ing at my side. I imag­ined the house erupt­ing with the first cry of the infant. Slaps on the back. Loud laugh­ter. Jubilation.

That’s how I thought it would be.

But now…Who will cel­e­brate with us? The sheep? The shepherds?

The stars?

This doesn’t seem right. What kind of hus­band am I? I pro­vide no mid­wife to aid my wife. No bed to rest her back. Her pil­low is a blan­ket from my donkey.

Did I miss some­thing? Did I, God?

When you sent the angel and spoke of the son being born—this isn’t what I pic­tured. I envi­sioned Jerusalem, the tem­ple, the priests, and the peo­ple gath­ered to watch. A pageant per­haps. A parade. A ban­quet at least. I mean, this is the Messiah!

Or, if not born in Jerusalem, how about Nazareth? Wouldn’t Nazareth have been bet­ter? At least there I have my house and my busi­ness. Out here, what do I have? A weary mule, a stack of fire­wood, and a pot of warm water. This is not the way I wanted it to be!… For­give me for ask­ing but … is this how God enters the world? The com­ing of the angel, I’ve accepted. The ques­tions peo­ple asked about the preg­nancy, I can tol­er­ate. The trip to Beth­le­hem, fine. But why a birth in a sta­ble, God?

Any minute now Mary will give birth. Not to a child, but to the Mes­siah. Not to an infant, but to God. That’s what the angel said. That’s what Mary believes. And, God, my God, that’s what I want to believe. But surely you can under­stand; it’s not easy. It seems so … so … so … bizarre.

I’m unac­cus­tomed to such strange­ness, God. I’m a car­pen­ter. I make things fit. I square off the edges. I fol­low the plumb line. I mea­sure twice before I cut once. Sur­prises are not the friend of a builder. I like to know the plan. I like to see the plan before I begin.

But this time I’m not the builder, am I? This time I’m a tool. A ham­mer in your grip. A nail between your fin­gers. A chisel in your hands. This project is yours, not mine.

I guess it’s fool­ish of me to ques­tion you. For­give my strug­gling. Trust doesn’t come easy to me, God. But you never said it would be easy, did you?

One final thing, Father. The angel you sent? Any chance you could send another? If not an angel, maybe a per­son? I don’t know any­one around here and some com­pany would be nice. Maybe the innkeeper or a trav­eler? Even a shep­herd would do.

 

From One Incred­i­ble Sav­ior: Cel­e­brat­ing the Majesty of the Manger by Max Lucado

Copy­right (Thomas Nel­son, 2011) Max Lucado

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