Even in this holy season, the world can seem shrouded in darkness and turmoil. To those who are dealing with the upheaval of an unexpected pregnancy and to all who question whether God understands what we’re going through, guest blogger Sean Miller offers this Christmas meditation.
Does God Know?
Year after year, as we gaze on the nativity scene at Christmas time, it fills us with joy and warmth.
We imagine how it must have been – the silent, holy night, the newborn King asleep in heavenly peace in the arms of his beautiful Mother. But is that the way it really was?
I don’t think so. From what Scripture tells us, for Mary and Joseph the time surrounding the birth of their Son was tumultuous and filled with confusion, uncertainty, and danger.
It began when the Virgin Mary was told by the angel Gabriel that she was to bear the Son of God. The gospel tells of her great trepidation, and we can only imagine how she feared others would react to the news of her pregnancy — especially Joseph. And he was likely shocked and troubled, brooding over what had happened and what he was to do next.
Then, when it came time for Mary to give birth and she needed a place of warmth and safety, the young couple found there was no such haven for them. There was no room in the inn. And they had to manage as best they could among the dry hay and warm breath of the oxen in a cold cave nearby.
And later, after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, warned that Herod was seeking the death of the Christ Child, were forced to flee the country to save the life of their newborn son.
Before, during, and after the birth of Christ, the Holy Family was in distress, alone, and on the run. They had to face the doubt of others, rejection, and hatred.
And as I was contemplating this, it struck me. Isn’t this exactly the situation of so many many women today who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant?
Their personal “nativity story” seems very much like what the Holy Family experienced: no place to go, the embarassment of social stigma, not knowing what to do next.
And on top of that, add financial pressures, perhaps fear of being too young to cope, the anger of unsupportive family members or friends who focus on the perceived inconvenience of the baby, and it’s not hard to understand how a distressed woman might easily fall prey to those who say that abortion is the only answer.
Confronted head-on with adversity, she feels isolated. The walls close in and seem impenetrable, towering above with impending doom. There’s no solution in sight. All seems hopeless.
She cries out to God, “Do you know? Do you understand what I’m going through? Do you know how I feel?”
Yes, He knows.
And not only does He know, but in the wondrous mystery of God made Man, He has seen such sorrow played out in His own life story. And He acts.
He came to troubled Joseph in a dream and gave him assurance and strength. Isn’t that exactly what the expectant pregnant mother needs in her time of confusion … assurance and strength?
He sent to Mary and Joseph the love of the three kings and the little shepherd boy who warmed their hearts in an otherwise cold world. Sometimes a woman needs a place to stay. Sometimes she needs a home. Most of all, she needs to know that people truly care about her.
And when the soldiers of Herod marched toward Bethlehem to take the life of their son, God led the young family to a place of refuge in Egypt, guiding them along a perilous journey to a place where the child could be safe. And that is what all parents desire — a place of stability, safety, and love where their child can grow.
Yes, God knows. And He will care for the frightened, pregnant woman just as he cared for Mary and Joseph. We need to encourage her to bring everything to God and trust Him explicitly, and He will show her how close He is during these times.
As we kneel in adoration before the Christmas manger, let us pray for all women who are preparing to bring their children into this world. May God send them good people to stand by them and help them in their need. Let them be surrounded by love.
“For unto us a Child is born, a Son is given.”
For more blogs by Sean, just search for “Sean Miller” in the box at the top of the page.