Daily Devotional Bible Verse

And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. (Luke 2:16 ESV)

When I was 18, I spent countless hours making a ceramic nativity set. The project took over a year because of the labor-intensive steps involved. Much love went into it knowing it was for the family God would eventually bless me with. I trusted that God would bring the right man and children into my life. I was making the nativity set in preparation for that future family.

On the first Christmas I was married, I was amazed when I beheld the ornate nativity set I had created. My husband built a manger, and it was arranged beside our tree. We felt blessed to have this exceptional set, and again, I had enormous faith in God for the children He would provide. When children didn’t come to us after eight years, I remained faithful and ultimately God blessed us with two beautiful girls.

At Christmas time our daughters “played” with the nativity set and were particularly fond of the sheep. Every day they were paraded around the crèche, and it wasn’t long before there were nicks and scratches, and a few chipped ears and tails. One camel even sustained a broken neck! Our children were putting their own personal touches on the nativity set.

Each year we added something different to it. We covered the ground with straw, added moss to the roof, and silver stars overhead. We illuminated the inside, provided burlap bags of feed, bales of hay, and a trough filled with tiny bits of grain. This isn’t how I imagined it would look when I made it, but it’s more complete with everyone’s distinctive touch. Our nativity set is a lot like us, a work in progress that gets transformed over the years.

It’s astounding that I made it in my teens with such steadfast faith that God would bring me the perfect husband. When children didn’t automatically come, God allowed me to believe that He would provide. And he did! I’m reminded of it whenever I look at the nativity set.

Life isn’t always easy. There are times when I feel the scratches and nicks of life that could easily distract and disorient me. Like the sheep, they add to my character and make me unique and spectacular. When I look at our nativity set, I see much more than a stable filled with ceramic figurines; I see the miracle of life that has grown in God’s unadulterated love.

Thank you, Lord, for your word and glorious works. They keep me longing for you. Amen. BC