And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

God often does things very differently than man would do them. This truth is incredibly illustrated with God’s promised Rescuer. He came to us by means that were anything but extravagant. Rather, He came in a manner so humble and intimate that it is almost unthinkable.

Jesus came as an infant born to a young virgin in the most mundane of settings. Not a palace, but a common stable. Not a nice inn with luxury amenities, but a manger. This is not a likely scenario that the mind of man would invent. Even for those of us who relish the amazing manner of God’s arrival, there is still something very odd about the way He came to us. He came quietly, in obscurity. No hype. No big announcements. No press releases. No mass media frenzy. One of the most meaningful events in all of history occurred with no large-scale fanfare or publicity. While the heavenly ovation of angels was incredibly significant, from an earthly sense the audience for this event was quite small—just a few shepherds and some barnyard animals. The eternal God entered our space in the flesh of a man and it went unnoticed by most people during that time.

Elaborate entrances can be fun, but Jesus didn’t need any of that fluff and pomp. Did He deserve it? Absolutely! But was it necessary for God’s purpose to be fulfilled? Certainly not. The next time we think we aren’t enough, may we remember the lowly beginning that Jesus had and know that God is enough for us. And even though where we are may not be how we would wish, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t where God wants us.

• Memorize today’s verse—Luke 2:7. Write this out on a note card and place it somewhere you will see it throughout the day and can meditate on it.

• Why do you think God chose such a modest arrival for Jesus’ birth? How did this compare with the amazing work Jesus came to accomplish?

• Ask God to help you trust His ways, especially when they seem totally different from how you might handle things.