Playdates with God: “Be it Unto Me”

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IMG_6682We are halfway through December and it hardly seems possible. These short days rush by so fast but the legs of the nights with all their darkness seem to stretch out before us and stay a while. We’ve been finding time together to be one of the gifts of this season.

This weekend we braved to travel in time and journeyed through Bethlehem. One of our local churches has made it a tradition to re-create the little town of Bethlehem during the time of Jesus’s birth and so I got it in my mind we should go and see it. I imagined a leisurely stroll through rustic streets, shepherds and sheep loitering about. Things never seem to go the way I picture them in my mind.

One of the shepherds told us that 2300 people had come the night before and we were part of a great throng as we waited outside the city gates. We stood in line for an hour in temperatures that hovered at freezing. I texted a friend who was planning on meeting us there.

“There is a long line at Bethlehem tonight!” I said.

Her reply?

“It must be census time!”

From that point on, I saw through Mary’s eyes.

What must it have been like to travel so far, heavy with child, possibly moving through throngs of people; unable to find accommodations, when the first pangs of childbirth struck?

We walked through the streets of this new, make-believe Bethlehem, but I saw it with 2000-year-old eyes. The sheep baa-ed and the people milled about. There was scent of straw and animal lingering. We sampled wares from the bread makers and the wine shop and watched the blacksmith pound a red-hot piece of iron.

I was cold but how could that small bit of discomfort compare to the pains of a baby coming on? And in the midst of so many travelers—strangers, all.

My heart has been with Mary, that one with the beautiful heart. The one who had the courage to say, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”

In this season of hustle and busy and hurry about, I sometimes complain. I complain about the crowds, I complain about the weather, I complain about the work set before me. I am praying that my eyes would be open to the greater things. I am praying, “Be it unto me…”

 

Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:

 

Laura Boggess

Comments

  1. says

    Wow, I LOVE this! Wish I lived closer; I’d definitely go! And I love how you saw through Mary’s eyes when you had to wait because of the long lines during census time! Genius remark by the way. Thanks for an uplifting and inspiring story today, and for hosting Playdates With God.

  2. says

    Oh, such great insights here, Laura. We complain about so many things; I’d love to hear what things Mary talked about. It’s so hard even to imagine what all she went through. We had a Bethlehem replica near us but last night was the last night and we didn’t make it. Sad. Maybe next year. Thanks for sharing your Bethlehem with me.

  3. says

    We have a church locally who does this show too and I had a similar perspective last time I was there. Don’t you love how God can give us so many incredible perspectives, sometimes in the simplest or most unusual of places? Glad you were able to experience this scene with fresh eyes!

  4. says

    Laura, I am so grateful you took me on this playdate with you! Beautiful photos! Joining you in praying & asking “that my eyes would be open to the greater things.” Wonderful post!

  5. says

    Who would have suspected that a long line and hour-long wait in frigid weather would have become such an essential part of what God had in store for you to experience that night?

    He just amazes me! …and leaves me wondering how much more I might be amazed if I took the time to notice…

    Thanks for sharing, Laura!

  6. says

    There are moments, Laura, when I stop in my tracks — usually after fussing at God about something I don’t want to deal with — and remind myself to have this Mary’s heart. Thanks for a beautiful post. Almost felt like being there!

  7. says

    What a wonderful experience, Laura! and God used your friend’s insightful response to set the perfect mood, heart and mind. The Advent devotional I’m using was just describing this very thing in yesterday’s devotion. Blessings!

  8. says

    What a beautiful, priceless experience! Thank you for sharing it with us. Mary was a most brave young woman.

    Your calendar is scheduled to leave my house tomorrow. Blessed Advent to you, friend!

  9. says

    Laura,
    I’m with you…it always humbles me when I think of all Mary endured…physically, emotionally etc.

    Thanks for the reminder…wishing you a most blessed Advent, my friend 🙂

  10. says

    I have been thinking about Mary a lot too.. I love the verse you shared but I have also been pouring over her song in verses 46-55, and Elizabeth’s encouragement in verse 45. And then the one that really sticks with me is Luke 2:19— Mary pondered it all in her heart. She didn’t grumble, or complain, or do anything but praise God and obediently walk the path He laid…. and in that she pondered it all. She thought about all that was being said to her and she kept it close. I want to do that, too.. keep Him close. 🙂

    Love the pictures!
    Blessings,
    Dawn

  11. says

    This sounds such a wonderful experience, thank you for sharing your walk through Bethlehem – just writing that feels special – a walk through Bethlehem!

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