When we’re not center stage, we tend to think life isn’t fair.
When life isn’t fair, I try to remember 4 things I learned from the Christmas story. This age-old story has hidden truths if we but open the Playbook and look.
When I was a child, my family attended a Christmas cantata every year in a neighboring town. The characters, songs, and script were different every year, but the story remained the same.
One year, a scene on stage saddened and baffled me. As a child, I didn’t understand what this scene had to do with the Christmas story. Center stage was a woman dressed in black, weeping and sobbing. She flung her head from side to side, flailing her arms as she cried out to God for mercy. It made me want to cry, but I didn’t know why I should be crying.
Then came the scripture: Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “A VOICE WAS HEARD IN RAMAH, WEEPING AND GREAT MOURNING, RACHEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN; AND SHE REFUSED TO BE COMFORTED BECAUSE THEY WERE NO MORE.”
I didn’t understand its meaning or significance that night. In fact, I was baffled. I had not yet heard about the horrors Jewish mothers faced as their infants and toddlers were ripped from their arms and murdered because of Herod. These mothers and their under-age-two children had done nothing wrong. Yet they lived in the time of the birth of Jesus.
While all other children under the age of two were murdered by Herod’s orders, Jesus survived. That’s because of a midnight journey from Bethlehem to Egypt, as ordered through a dream from God to Joseph, the step-father. While Jesus survived, other children died. That’s collateral damage, and God allowed it.
I don’t understand, and it makes no sense to me, except that is how God chose the story to be written. That is how He orchestrated the events. In the prophecies of Jesus, scripture specifically says that Jesus was called out of Egypt. When it was safe, an angel again told Joseph it was safe to return, so they went back to Nazareth, where Jesus was raised.
The purpose of this story and this event is something to consider and to ponder. The purpose of this story is the central theme of salvation.
Jesus Christ is center stage!
When I am tempted to try to tell God how to write the story, I remember this event. When I am tempted to complain that life isn’t fair, I need to remember this. When I fret and stew about how I’ve been cheated, I need to remember this part of the story.
The mothers who had given birth around the same time that Jesus was born were also cheated. Because their sons were born in the same geographical area and time of the birth of Jesus, they were murdered by order of the king. Was that fair? NO, a Thousand Times No!
Life is not fair. That is what Heaven is for.
In Heaven, our losses will be restored. In Heaven, our suffering won’t matter anymore. That’s what I need to remember.
More than anything else, I need to remember these things:
- God writes the script. He decides the main character on stage. It is not you, and it isn’t me.
- God allows collateral damage because of His purposes
- God has His own agenda and He will do what is necessary for fulfillment of His agenda
- In the entire theme of the Gospel of Jesus, none of us are center stage. Jesus is center stage.
That’s the purpose of Redemption, the purpose of our salvation, and the purpose of eternity with Jesus. He is center stage.
During this Christmas season, when you think of the Savior, remember that He is center stage; God’s purposes are for His story to be complete. That is why we are not center stage. That place is reserved for Him.