“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth and laid him in a manger because there was no place for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7)
Perhaps one of the most well-known parts of the Christmas story is when Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem and could not find any place to stay. With so many individuals in town because of the census, accommodations were few. We can imagine Mary and Joseph going place to place looking for somewhere to stay. Turned away repeatedly, the expecting couple found rest in a stable. Jesus is born, and Mary places him in a feeding trough as a cradle. When they dreamed of Jesus’ birth, they could not have imagined it turning out the way it did. Homeless and on the road, they were in an in-between time.
A lot of life is lived during in-between times. We find ourselves on a journey but not yet at our destination. The Bible is full of stories of such journeys. Most notably, there is the story of the people of Israel after their liberation from slavery in Egypt. They were no longer slaves, but they still did not have a place to call their own. They spent years traveling in the desert on the way to the promised land. As we read the stories from the book of Exodus, these were challenging times for God’s people. They were in-between times.
It is during these times that we must trust that God is present with us. Our situation may not be ideal, but God is with us. Jesus is our Emmanuel, meaning God with us. When Mary placed Jesus in a wooden manger, God brought stable time to our in-between times. We might not be where we want to be, but God is right where we need him to be.
Prayer: During the in-between times may we can experience stable time.