I watched a video the other day of a mom giving birth in a hospital parking lot. She was so close, yet so far from the hospital. She has a crazy birth story to share. Other unique locations in which women have given birth include a Chick-fil-A bathroom, an Uber, and a post office. Obviously, none of those situations are ideal locations for a birth. And neither was a stable.
I can guarantee Mary’s birth story was not what she had expected. I imagine that Mary looked forward to the day that she would be a mother. But pregnant before the wedding? What would everyone think? And with such a bizarre story! I’m also betting Mary envisioned giving birth at home with her family and a midwife. I don’t think that the stable and feed trough were what she had been dreaming of.
At each step of Mary and Joseph’s pregnancy story, there were many unexpected twists and turns. It wasn’t easy or simple. I’m sure it was an exhausting journey traveling to Bethlehem while 9 months pregnant, only to arrive at the inn and be told they were all full. I’m sure this was incredibly disappointing. Despite the circumstances, I wonder if Mary was at peace knowing God was with her.
They say that a mother has a special bond with her baby after carrying the baby in her womb for nine months. I believe Mary probably understood the meaning of the name Immanuel, “God with us,” better than anyone. She was able to carry Jesus with her every day throughout her pregnancy. Then, she was able to raise Jesus throughout His childhood. And like us, she was given the gift of the Holy Spirit for Jesus to be always with her after Jesus left.
Take a few minutes to meditate on the name of Immanuel, “God with us.” What does that mean for you personally?