The Struggles of Birth

It’s Christmas season, so, of course, my thoughts, like many others, often go back to the birth of Jesus.  Mary and Joseph had already endured a long journey to get to this little manger, barn, animal scene.  We tend to romanticize the picture in order to not really think about what was happening.

The reality of it is that God/Jesus was born.  I don’t know about you but I’ve seen pictures and videos and heard multiple explanations of how birth takes place.  I’ve heard it told how the baby must fit through the birth canal and there is a struggle for life.  The more difficult a birth is, the more likely that the little one born will come “out” with a bit of a pointed head as the child has pushed and struggled through to life.

I’ve heard people say that Jesus, Himself, didn’t actually “enter” the baby’s body that was born until after the birth.  I don’t believe that.  I believe He endured every bit of life so that He would be able to truly say that He understood all that we would endure.  Jesus wore diapers, okay there weren’t Pampers then but whatever they used to cover babies…He wore.  I’ll bet He even cried when He was hungry or tired or needed changing.  He grew as a “real” baby grows because He was and is real flesh. (John 1:14)

The other thing I’ve been thinking about related to the birth of Jesus is what is true of all births.  They are a struggle.  They are natural but they are a struggle.  The Momma’s body is going to do what is necessary to push that little one out into the world.  And when the Mom can’t do it, the Dr. is going to help through another kind of struggle.

I think the birth represents the struggles of life.  Struggles are a natural part of life.  Struggles take great strength to endure.  Struggles can be long and difficult or short and not so difficult.  Sometimes the deciding factor is  how we deal with them and how soon we allow God to get invovled.  Can you imagine if the baby didn’t “want” to be born?  That child would never see or know that struggles of life, that’s true, but this babe would never know that joy of the end of the struggle or the happiness that comes from experiencing the many things that bless us in life.  As with the baby, we cannot hide from or ignore the struggle.  We each must endure the struggle in order to appreciate the joy.

God knew how difficult life would be.  We’ve heard it said many times that things are not a surprise to Him.  He is not a God who does not care about our daily struggles.  He endured all kinds of things so that we would know that He understood.  Including the struggle of birth.

Birth may represent the struggles of life but it also represents joy. Most Mommas know that when “they” put that little one into her arms for the first time the pain and the suffering is displaced and the joy at seeing that little one face to face is indescribable.  You look at this newborn and wonder what the future will hold for this child.  You wonder what will come their way and what they will seek and you hope with all of your heart that your child will seek the One who has already done so much.

This Christmas I hope to focus, yes, on those I love and the gifts that will be given to them…yes, on the time I will get to spend with family and friends…yes, maybe even on a few “sappy” Christmas movies.  Mostly though, I want to focus on the reality of the birth of Jesus and how, even from the first moment of His earthly life, He was willing to go through human life for me…for us.  Amazing love.  Amazing grace.  Amazing sacrifice.

“Lord, God, please help me not to lose sight of Your glory and righteousness in what You did on that, what we call, first Christmas night so long ago.  From the beginning, You took on the mess and smeels of mankind, in order for Your love to show clearly.  Thank-You.  May my gift to You this year be to always love You more.”