Desperate Times

My youngest son always seems to relate Christmas with snow even though we have never had snow on Christmas, that is, until this year. Snow is rare in the south, and snow on Christmas is even rarer (as in never), but we woke up this year to the white stuff falling down on Christmas morning.

It was unbelievable. A real Christmas miracle. We opened the blinds and watched it come down as we gathered together as family to celebrate the newborn Savior. It’s never felt more Christmasy. My littlest called it the best Christmas ever.

Two things you never bet on in Alabama are the score of the Alabama-Auburn game and the weather. One north Alabama jewelry storeowner went against this rule and offered a crazy deal to anyone who shopped in his store this Christmas season. He offered a full refund on any Christmas purchase if it snowed three inches on Christmas Day in that town… Well, it snowed. Was it three inches? I hope for his sake it was not. But I’ll bet he never makes that mistake again. I’m sure with the bad economy and sales not being what he had hoped or needed, he decided to take a chance.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures” or so the saying goes. Maybe the saying should be “Desperate times call for us to do stupid things.”

It’s reasonable to say that the Christ child was born into desperate times. God chose a young, inexperienced girl to mother the Savior of the world. That in itself seems desperate to me, except that God never acts out of desperation. No, He is always intentional. Still, I look at my own thirteen-year-old daughter and think, “Good grief, what would have happened if Mary had been like her?” Oh, she’s a great girl. I love her to pieces, but her world falls apart if she can’t find her favorite jeans. Teen girls. All moody and unpredictable. Wishy washy on a good day, downright out of their tree on others.

But Mary did just fine. When all else failed, she did what she had to do. Apparently when the chips where down, and there was no proper room to be found, she made do with what she had. God had to know she would, she was fulfilling prophesy, after all. Young people can also be flexible and very adaptive. Me? Not as much. So for Mary, a stable became a labor and birthing room, a feeding trough became a bassinet.

Sometimes we think that if our situation isn’t exactly perfect, that God is not working in it. Maybe if we could sit down with Mary over Starbucks, and have a conversation about the night Jesus was born, we’d see clearly how God worked even in the most desperate situations to bring about, well, in that case- the salvation of the world. Mary didn’t panic. She didn’t make wild offers to get herself out of what seemed like an impossible situation. She trusted God. Even in her desperation, she trusted Him.

Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said.” Luke 1:38

I think Mary should serve as a good example for us all.

Desperate times call for us to trust God.

We will all face desperate times at some time or another. That’s just a fact of life. It happens. Will we react by making wild, unwise decisions to save ourselves? Or will we quietly trust in the One who not only can cause it to snow on Christmas Day in Alabama, but who can bring about the perfect resolution to our desperate situations.

So what do you think?

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