From One Father to Another


This isn’t the way I planned it, God. Not at all. My child being born in a stable? This isn’t the way I thought it would be. A cave with sheep and donkeys, hay and straw? My wife giving birth with only the stars to hear her pain?

This isn’t at all what I imagined. No, I imagined family. I imagined grandmothers. I imagined neighbors clustered outside the door and friends standing at my side. I imagined the house erupting with the first cry of the infant. Slaps on the back. Loud laughter. Jubilation.

That’s how I thought it would be. But now…Who will celebrate with us? The sheep? The shepherds? The stars? This doesn’t seem right. What kind of husband am I? I provide no midwife to aid my wife. No bed to rest her back. Her pillow is a blanket from my donkey.

Did I miss something? Did I, God?

When you sent the angel and spoke of the son being born—this isn’t what I pictured. I envisioned Jerusalem, the temple, the priests, and the people gathered to watch. A pageant perhaps. A parade. A banquet at least. I mean, this is the Messiah!

Or, if not born in Jerusalem, how about Nazareth? Wouldn’t Nazareth have been better? At least there I have my house and my business. Out here, what do I have? A weary mule, a stack of firewood, and a pot of warm water. This is not the way I wanted it to be!… Forgive me for asking but … is this how God enters the world? The coming of the angel, I’ve accepted. The questions people asked about the pregnancy, I can tolerate. The trip to Bethlehem, fine. But why a birth in a stable, God?


Any minute now Mary will give birth. Not to a child, but to the Messiah. Not to an infant, but to God. That’s what the angel said. That’s what Mary believes. And, God, my God, that’s what I want to believe. But surely you can understand; it’s not easy. It seems so … so … so … bizarre.

I’m unaccustomed to such strangeness, God. I’m a carpenter. I make things fit. I square off the edges. I follow the plumb line. I measure twice before I cut once. Surprises are not the friend of a builder. I like to know the plan. I like to see the plan before I begin.


But this time I’m not the builder, am I? This time I’m a tool. A hammer in your grip. A nail between your fingers. A chisel in your hands. This project is yours, not mine. I guess it’s foolish of me to question you. Forgive my struggling. Trust doesn’t come easy to me, God. But you never said it would be easy, did you?


One final thing, Father. The angel you sent? Any chance you could send another? If not an angel, maybe a person? I don’t know anyone around here and some company would be nice. Maybe the innkeeper or a traveler? Even a shepherd would do.
From One Incredible Savior: Celebrating the Majesty of the Manger
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 2011) Max Lucado

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  1. BRYCE EDEM says:

    Very inspiring. Literary craftsmanship!

  2. charles ozuligbo says:

    Well imagined,well constructed,well arranged ,well delivered,well read,and well ministered to!!! The new born KING was sent to His own people;they did not only rejected Him,but could not also recognise Him,that SAVIOR has been sent to them.Just,as carnal and nature as they were,their widest imagination and expectation was that,the bulb king will stem out from the linage of the aristocrats,with much might and influence to out power their opponents.Hence,the essential and most cheerished inns for child birth was circumvented by God,inother to deeping the great mysteries of Godliness; which comes without controversy that God was manifest in the flesh,justified in the Spirit,seen of angels,preached unto the Gentiles,believed on in the world,received up into glory. Now,the very strage twist of the personality of the born KING is that after His manifestation to his own,He was then preached to the gentiles(peasants/defiled) and was believed by the world(all nations).Therefore,the new born King is now for us ALL.For the grace of God that bringth salvation has appeared to ALL MEN, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,we should live soberly,righteously,and godly,in this present world;Looking for the blessed hope,and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;who gave Himself for us,that He might redeem us from all iniquity,and purify unto Himself a peculiar people,zealous of good works. On a parting note,He came for the redemption of ALL,He was born in the manger,so we can live in mansions,He became nobody,for us to be somebody,He bore all the shame,for us to be proud,and all our reproaches He nailed to the cross,for us to be free.HALLELUJAH! Merry_-mErRy XmAs!!!

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