Many of us know the story of Christ’s birth really well. When we see a nativity scene, we expect to see a baby wrapped up and lying in a manger. But, for the shepherds who heard this for the first time, imagine what they must have thought. They had been waiting for the Messiah, the Saviour, for generations. Now, they are told that He has come, and He is wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger, not in a palace, but in a stable. I’m sure this was far from what they expected. Yet, because of what the angels told had them, they went to see. Once they had confirmed what the angels said was true, they went and told everyone else about it.
As we approach the day when we celebrate the birth of Christ, many of us will be giving and receiving gifts. Children especially await this time with great expectations about what they will receive. Some will be disappointed because they don’t get what they most wanted for Christmas. Others will just be thrilled that they received anything.
So many times, in our lives, things haven’t been what we were expecting. Growing up, I was frequently disappointed and in tears when things weren’t as I’d expected them to be. As I’ve got older, I’ve learned to accept this more easily, but it still can take time to adjust and accept reality. And so often, once I’ve made that adjustment, I realise I’ve ended up with something far better.
God knows what is best for us. It might seem better for Jesus to have been born in a palace and to have all the best things in the world, but God chose to send His son into a humble family. He was made so we could relate to Him. He came and lived a life like ours, and He died for us. Such an amazing provision for us! God knew what we needed.
Jesus told us not to worry about what we will eat, drink or wear, because our Heavenly Father knows what we need, and He will take care of us if we seek His Kingdom first (Matthew 6:31-33). This is one area where I know I need to adjust my expectations to be able to receive what He has for me. It frequently doesn’t come the way I expect it to, but God always provides for all our needs. I need to be able to recognise this and give Him the glory for what He’s done.
What are you expecting? Are you willing to give your expectations to Jesus, seek first the kingdom of God and see how He will provide?
Prayer: Lord, I know that many times things don’t happen as I expect them to, but I don’t want to miss seeing what You are doing in it. Please help me to give You my expectations, seek Your kingdom first, and receive with gladness what You give me. Amen.
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