by Jamie Trisler
From a human perspective there are occurrences in life that seem to come at the wrong time. Take the birth of Jesus, “In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Luke 2:1-6).
Mary was nine months pregnant when she made the seventy plus mile journey to Bethlehem with Joseph. Perhaps she rode a donkey but quite possibly she walked the entire trip. She probably had to remind herself more than once of the angel Gabrial’s words, “For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). Joseph on the other hand had the enormous responsibility of the well-being of Mary and the unborn child. Probably he heard in his mind the words spoken to him by angel of the Lord, “she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Indeed, a taxing trip for the soon to be parents.
Did they question God’s timing in all of this? Maybe, or could they had been resolved to endure the uncomfortable travel because they had heard and understood the prophecy recorded in Micah 5:2 that the Messiah King would be born in Bethlehem? If so, what hope and faith they must have had that this trip was more than just complying with Caesar Augustus’ decree; for they knew the difficult journey would usher in the birth of a baby who they would name Jesus who would be great and called the Son of the Most High (Luke 1:31-32).
The timing of this trip presented an unexpected problem when they arrived in Bethlehem. No accommodations were available because of other Jews who were there to register for the census. God provided a feeding-box for livestock as a crib at an unnamed venue, and acted accordingly: “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law” (Galatians 4:4). God’s timing was perfect despite “no place in the inn” (Luke 2:5).
What should I do when the timing of an event does not seem convenient and brings about hardship? Remind myself of the promises of God, rely on Him to help me persevere, and know He has ordained the timing of the event.