Unexpected came the gift

Categorized as 12/20/10 Goshen News column

A thousand things rushed through our minds that night.  We were shocked, numb.  Fear came like a flood with a hundred “what if’s.”  What if this pregnancy went like the last one and I ended up in bed for months?  Sure, we had health insurance, but no maternity coverage.  What if I was unable to work due to complications?  Every spare penny was going into the office, and there simply was no extra room in the family budget.  And the last “what if” was especially frightening.  What if, at my age, I had a handicapped child?  It was with troubled hearts and anxious minds that we went to bed, looking for sleep that came late.  The next morning, still reeling, I awoke in the predawn darkness.  Starting the coffee, I turned to the book of Luke, looking for comfort in the story of another girl long ago who, too, had experienced a most unexpected pregnancy.  I will never forget that day.  As I read by the lights of the tree, I felt a kinship with that girl that spanned the centuries and the miles between us.  She, too, was troubled.  She, too, was caught unawares.  She, too, saw impossibility.  But she did not turn away in the face of great turmoil.  She questioned, and she listened when the messenger said, “With God, nothing shall be impossible.” In an act of faith and obedience, the girl Mary replied, “Be it unto me according to Your word,” and she opened her heart and her arms to receive the gift.  Those ancient words sank deep into my soul.  My troubled spirit quieted, and I found myself saying with Mary, “Me, too.  Be it unto me, Lord…” That was five years ago.  Looking back, this mama can clearly see the magnificent hand of God, can trace His fingerprints throughout this story.   Nothing that we feared came to pass.  I had a healthy pregnancy with no bed rest.  God, as promised provided for every need.  Best of all, that precious baby is now a healthy, active four-year-old.  His name, chosen by his brothers, is Gabriel.  It means “God is my strength.” Day by day, he brings happiness to our home.  He is the apple of his father’s eye.  He adores his big brothers, and they adore him.  Blanky is his constant companion, just as he is mine.  Once more, I have a Starbucks buddy.  Once more, a tiny bottom perches on my lap, eager for a story.  Once more, a small set of pajamas plods downstairs, looking for breakfast.  And once more, a little boy is learning to pray.  What mercy!  What grace!  That which first seemed unlikely, ill-timed, and impossible has become one of the greatest gifts we ever received.  And so it is with the Babe, the Holy Child, Mary’s son.  What appeared to be unlikely, ill-timed, and utterly impossible was actually the greatest gift a fallen world has ever received.  Hope and redemption came to earth in the shape of a baby.  With the advent of the Christ, life as sinful humanity once knew it has been changed forever.  Death has been defeated.  He comes, bringing life – real life, and offering hope and a future.  All He asks is that you receive the gift.  From our family to yours, a very Merry Christmas! 

Note for those of you joining me from Ann’s blog: While this piece doesn’t detail our Christmas traditions, it is certainly the story of how my heart turns in worship and remembrance every Christmastide. Thus, it has become, in all reality, a Christmas practice.FacebookTwitterGoogle+DiggPinterestBlogger

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