Forest Gump’s most famous line says, “life is like a box of chocolates–you never know what you’re gonna get.”

But I KNEW what I was going to get when I was pregnant with my first baby! I found out I was having a boy, and my mind was immediately filled with visions of a rough and tough, baseball cap-wearing mama’s boy who spent all his time outside climbing trees, riding his bike barefoot, and getting into all sorts of trouble around the neighborhood. Bless it.

My boy loved to read books before he knew what a letter was. He doesn’t like hats–especially baseball caps. He used to run up and down the soccer field singing praise songs while his precious little curls bounced up and down the pitch. His love of video games far exceeds his desire to be outside, although he has become a lot more competitive on the soccer field!.

I’m pretty sure he has only climbed one…maybe two trees in his life. My boy. My amazing, wonderful, brilliant, funny, athletic, creative, thoughtful, caring boy…is not AT ALL what I expected. He’s better than I ever could have imagined or prayed that the Lord would gift to me as a mother, and I couldn’t be more thankful for him.

The Jews living at the time that Jesus was born had expectations of a Savior that would come and defeat their Roman oppressors and free them from political, physical, and financial strife. They have visions of a mighty conqueror who would be rough and tough, politically powerful, and would eventually sit on an earthly throne. Oh man. God had something so. much. better.

Jesus, God’s only Son was sitting at his Father’s right side, already on His throne in Heaven and chose to leave that place to come to earth and be born as a baby…in a stable…surrounded by farm animals…and put in a feeding trough to sleep. Yeah, not exactly what people were expecting.

So why is this better than the earthly conqueror for which so many had hoped before Jesus arrived? Philippians 2:6-8 tells us that Jesus, “who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!”

God could have sent Jesus as an adult in the form of a powerful military leader, a revered political ruler, or even a prominent and wealthy king; but instead, God sent his one and only son to be born as a humble, innocent, vulnerable human child who would stub his toe and scrape his knee, be tempted in every way, get hungry and thirsty, laugh, cry, mourn, and celebrate.

Jesus knows how it feels to lose a loved one. Jesus knows what’s it’s like to be betrayed by someone trusted. Jesus knows what it’s like to really, really, REALLY not want to do something, but knows that he must do it out of obedience to and trust in his father’s will. Jesus left his throne in heaven to be born as a baby so he could know us fully and then make sure we had a way to live with him forever.

His quiet entry, exemplary life, and humble submission was the most amazing way. It’s not what was expected, but it’s better than anything I could have ever imagined or prayed that the Lord would gift to me as a sinner, and I couldn’t be more thankful for Him.

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