A few short days after Christmas, my daughter will serve as chauffeur to what we both hope will be my final doctor's appointment since breaking my foot almost 3 months ago. While we are both excited to hear that I can resume driving and other duties she's taken on during my convalescence, we're also apprehensive about the 30 mile drive to the hospital and clinic.
Because my daughter is, as the Bible says, great with child.
I have no desire to deliver a grandchild under any circumstances. But I really, really don't want to welcome a new life into the world while tromping around in an orthopedic boot that looks like a costume piece from Young Frankenstein. In December. In Iowa. Where the weather can be frightful this time of year.
Sure, the baby isn't due for another month, we tell each other. Sure, we'll have our cell phones. Sure, we can dial 911 if need be. Sure, it'll all work out, we reassure one another.
After all, I joke weakly, Mary and Joseph made it to Bethlehem, didn't they?
Those words, once spoken, bring more peace than my attempts to control the situation by arranging for alternate transportation, constantly plugging in my phone so it's 100% charged at all time, packing a baby delivery kit, and throwing the daughter's suitcase in the car.
Joseph and Mary made it to Bethlehem on a donkey without a cell phone.
Because they had something greater than cell phones and 911 and heated cars and baby delivery kits. They had confidence in the word spoken to them by Gabriel. They had a rock solid faith in the God who relayed His plan through His in Luke 1: 35-36:
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy–the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing is impossible with God."
Perhaps because God, by His grace, allowed Mary to see His unforgettable and other-worldly messenger, she had an easier time believing His promises. Perhaps because Mary's visit to Elizabeth proved that prophecy to be true, she knew without a shadow of doubt that nothing is impossible with God.
Perhaps, standing on these promises, Mary and Joseph made it to Bethlehem.
Young, cold, tired, poor, dirty, and saddlesore, they made it to Bethlehem where their child was born in a manger. Without a doctor, without 911, without a cell phone, and without a hospital.
Because God was with them, and He is with me.
This is the source of my peace, too. Whatever happens on the way to and from my upcoming appointment, God is with me. He's with my daughter. He's with my grandchild. He is with you. He is with your child.
God is with us on the way to our personal Bethlehems.
When our babies are born too soon.
When our sons and daughters receive a special needs diagnosis.
When parents' hearts break to learn their children will reach heaven before them.
When the strain of caregiving bears down upon us.
God is with us, as He was with Mary and Joseph, on the way to Bethlehem.
God is with us.
God is with us.
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us).