An Unusual Christmas Wish

Recently I read that America’s greatest fear is inconvenience.  We want it our way, fast, hot and now.  We don’t want to wait, so now there are two lines at the drive through.  We want to get all of our groceries, garden needs, and clothing items in one quick stop.  In many ways we have achieved a very convenient way to live…we have grown accustomed to it and cannot imagine life without it.  

I think a better translation to all of this is that we want to be comfortable.  We want there to be an ease of life.  There is enough pain and discomfort in the world and so by our very nature when possible, we choose comfort.  Though quite understandable–ironically, it is in our discomfort that we grow.   On a run yesterday, I was reminded how uncomfortable running can be.  When I run I learn much about enduring, about pushing past my pain; about discipline and mental strength.  All these attributes surface in a few short miles while I endure discomfort.   

In our discomfort we also realize that this world is not about us.

After a lovely dinner, the beautiful host sat us down and shared her heart.  She shared her newest thoughts about the Christmas story.  And Mary.  She shared of Mary’s disgrace.  Who believes a little teenage girl who says that she will be carrying the Son of God in her belly for 9 months?  She shared of the public and private humiliation she must have endured.  Babies out of wedlock were not only disgraceful–they were unlawful.  For a time, a she experienced a broken relationship with her fiance.  The host spoke  of Mary’s discomfort.  Can you imagine giving birth in a barn?  Without your mother…with only a teenage boy as your nurse maid?   She did not live a comfortable life.  A carpenter’s wife.  She also experienced major changes of direction, not only with the obvious birth of an unexpected baby, but also with an quick uprooting move to Egypt when her child was very young.  My precious friend reminded us that Mary accepted disgrace and discomfort…she traded them as God’s will and portion for her life.  She shared that Mary’s courageous response was, “Never mind what people think of me…I will glorify the Lord.”  (not a direct quote–but her general sentiments!  Luke 1:39-55)

On that cozy couch last night I was reminded, God really shows up in the discomfort

I want Mary’s heart.  May I accept…or (eeeek) welcome the discomfort of this life…knowing it is where He dwells…it is where great things are birthed.  

Thank you Aliene for reminding us to shift our perspective.  Thank you for having Mary’s heart, for being willing to endure discomfort and disgrace for the glory of God.  Thank you for using your gifts to remind each woman that she is a treasure.  

Over the next few days as this year quickly moves to a close…might we dare whisper a new prayer for 2013…God may I move away from the things that bring me most comfort…so that I might better see and know your heart?  

May You Be a Blessing and May You Be Blessed!


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