Contentment: A real challenge this time of Year

If you’re packing up to travel for the holiday, you probably have a list of must-haves for your trip: snacks, movies, diaper bags, barf bags. Your kids also load the van with blankets, books, pillows, stuffed animals, and electronics. I well remember our 15-passenger van filled to the brim with  creature comforts as we made our annual trek to Ohio.

Even though we don’t travel as a family anymore, this Mary and Joseph have a fresh version of necessities: travel mugs, ipad, phone chargers, and a list of high-end restaurants and hotels to visit.

What a contrast to the biblical Mary and Joseph.

  • A donkey is no decked-out SUV with seats that recline.
  • A cattle stall is not exactly a birthing suite.
  • A feeding trough does not resemble a sterile bassinet.

Yet this was God’s idea of a King’s chamber. It was simple and it was humble.

I can’t help but marvel at Mary. She had no idea God would lead her to this hay-filled shelter to give birth. And she had nothing to offer her baby except energy to push him into the world, full breasts to nourish him, and a blanket to warm him. That’s it.

So this Christmas, as you lament over where you live and what you lack. As you wish for more presents to give to your children and grapple for answers when they complain and compare, remember Mary. Like her, you are God’s vessel and you are good enough for your children. The energy you  pour into their well-being, the modest food and gifts you place before them, the simple home where you reside are wonderful reminders of Christ’s humble beginnings.

Read: Luke 2.1-20

In your journal: Write out Verse 7 at the top of a clean sheet. List ways you may be struggling with contentment at this season. Talk to God about your struggles.

Share: Talk to your children about Christ’s humble beginnings. If handy, use a blanket from their infant years as an object lesson about all Mary had to give to her newborn Son. Talk about simplicity and contentment. Think about and pray for others who have less than you do.





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