The holidays are such a busy time of year. But when something unexpected happens, it can really throw a wrench into the works. Yet there are some things – whether generally or specifically – we should anticipate… like that something unforeseen is going to surface! If we do, we can leave some extra time in our schedule and won’t be caught off guard.
Mary and Joseph didn’t know a census was coming that would force them to travel seventy miles to Bethlehem near the end of Mary’s pregnancy. But maybe they should have seen it coming. Micah 5:2 says:
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. (ESV)
It was prophesied that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. If they knew or considered that, they may have been able to be proactive about getting there. Perhaps earlier in the pregnancy. At the very least, they wouldn’t have been blindsided by it.
So what can, or rather should, we expect? Lots of good things, especially this time of year: sweet fellowship with family and friends, the blessing of giving and receiving gifts, enjoying seasonal foods and treats…. But we should also anticipate some hardships. I love how Peter puts it in I Peter 4:12-13:
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. (NIV)
Although a little rain, or snow, might fall this Christmas season, there is one thing that must not be unexpected: the joy that comes with remembering and celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
Just some things I’m trying to keep in mind along the way.