One of the things I love about shopping at Christmas time can be summed up in two words. On. Line. Don’t get me wrong. I love giving gifts. I love getting gifts. I love people. But I don’t love standing in line. Rude customers and tired, crabby, overworked store clerks take the ‘joy’ out of ‘Joy to the World’.

I wonder what it was like the day Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem. The normally quiet streets of this village were no doubt teaming with people. Visitors from all over the region had descended on Bethlehem due to the census called for by the government.

Was it an oversight on Joseph’s part that left this young couple without lodging? It had been a long journey. 90 miles by donkey would have taken four days at best. Four days for this woman, a young girl really, who was 9 months pregnant. Four days of daytime heat and perhaps sleeping on the cold, hard ground at night.

We don’t know for sure why accommodations weren’t made for the young couple. Joseph was ‘going home’ to his hometown. He had relatives there, brothers, cousins, boyhood friends. How is it that no one had room for him? Was it true that there was literally no room for them? Not one, single back room at a relatives house/ Or was it because Joseph came ‘home’ with a very pregnant girlfriend? Was it because no one wanted to deal with the gossip and scandal?

We don’t know of course. What we do know is that not a single room could be found. No one reached out to help this young, very needy couple. Still, a lowly manger was the perfect place for the son of God to be born.

Spending the first night in a cave was perfect preparation for the life this infant would call ‘normal.’

Spending that night in a cave was the perfect way to let this young mom and her husband-to-be learn the lesson that trusting God doesn’t mean life will be easy. Nothing is farther from the truth. It does mean, however, that God will make a way when a way seems unlikely.

When everyone else lets you down, God prepares a way. What cave are you in today? What rejection have you faced or are you facing? Our loving God has prepared this time to remind you of his provision during the lonely times.