Know anyone with a birthday in the month of December? Do they seem a little miffed that their special day lands in the same month as Christmas?
I have quite an extensive list of those who wish their mother and father had thought ahead a little better: my daughter (sorry, dear—we weren’t thinking at all), a grandson, a sister, a niece, 3 friends, one of whom was born on Christmas Eve and another on Christmas day! I mean, really! What were those parents thinking?
What we plant doesn’t always come at the right time.
Or so it seems.
But I’ve come to believe that what first seems the “wrong” time, is often just the “right” time in disguise.
I can’t help but think of this in light of the Christmas story. If your faith, like mine, takes you to the place where there was no room to give birth to the world’s only hope, then you, too, may have thought, What bad timing!
A trough of prickly straw, barnyard animals for company, guests not just down the hall waiting for the news, but in the fields wondering if their star gazing would lead them somewhere, or more importantly, to someone. And contrary to what most creche scenes would have you believe, the rich didn’t bring their gifts until years later.
(It’s interesting to note that one of the gifts was myrrh—an embalming oil, a prefiguring of Jesus’ death. Not a gift I’d be too excited about.)
Wouldn’t a different time have been better? Wouldn’t different circumstances have shed a little more dazzling light on this baby’s entrance into the world? Mary might have seen a vacancy sign if the census in Nazareth had been delayed a few days. But it was time to pack the donkey and go.
I still wonder why God didn’t orchestrate that whole scene a little more thoughtfully. After all, he’s God!
“For unto you is born this day . . .” (Luke 2:11).
This day. This time. God knows just when to open the curtain to new life.
This royal birth, in a humble stable, on a starry night happened just as God had planned. The prophets foretold this moment. The time was now. God, who transcends time, knows well how to manage it.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me . . . before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16
After I celebrate my grandson’s birthday, my daughter’s birthday, my sister’s and my friends’, I will raise my heart and soul to the Child whose birthday gives me hope for all I celebrate throughout the year.
The books below are especially fun birthday gifts to help children chronicle their life, share memories, and tell about their favorite things. A child will feel special while creating a cherished keepsake.
And for those who want to record Christmas memories . . .
And last, but certainly not least, check out http://christianchildrensauthors.com
for 12 Christmas Books celebrating the reason for the season.
Included is Glenys Nellist’s, Christmas Love Letters from God. The message of Christmas, from the prophecy of Isaiah to the visit of the three wise men, will help children understand the plan God had in the birth of his Son.
This beautifully illustrated, interactive book will help personalize Christmas for children ages 4-8.
This season, if you celebrate Christmas, I hope you rejoice in the good news and great joy of Christmas, the story of the seed God planted with all of time in mind.
If you don’t celebrate the birthday that was foretold hundreds years before its time, I hope you consider your birthday as a gift. Because no matter when it was planted, you are here at just the right time, as are all the little ones you share life with.
There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1
Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas time!