By Andy Smith
When my wife and I brought our son home from the hospital, several days after he was born, we were beyond happy to be parents. We were thrilled.
The adrenaline of that moment helped my wife through the first few days of motherhood, despite the significant pain she was experiencing, and enabled me to shrug off the first few sleepless nights. Our hopes had been answered! We had a child!
But reality set in after a few days. The relentless schedule of feeding and diapering made no allowances for our fatigue or her pain. When our baby cried, I responded, but it was a struggle to drag my leaden body out of bed.
The joy of having a newborn gives way to the ongoing slog of having a baby.
So it was for Mary and Joseph: that night in Bethlehem didn’t merely seem like a miracle – it was one. Shepherds and angels witnessed the virgin birth of a child who was 100% God and 100% human.
But a little more than a month later, the daily grind of parenthood must have certainly set in. Jesus needed feeding and diapering like any other baby. Mary and Joseph must have been tired as they went to the Temple in Jerusalem for a ceremony.
Observant Jews of that time obeyed the directions of the Torah to present firstborn sons and offer a small sacrifice to God. There were probably a few other couples at the Temple at the same time, doing the same thing.
In the midst of this dutiful fatigue, Simeon and Anna unexpectedly approach Mary and Joseph, and utter amazing prophecies. Once again, Jesus is confirmed to be the Messiah.
Anna and Simeon were quite old; Jesus was a baby. God’s plan engages people at every age.
Mary and Joseph were simply tired. They’d been taking care of a newborn for several weeks by this point in time. God shows up in the middle of the daily grind.
Yes, God was there on that miraculous evening in Bethlehem.
But He was also there, and at work, as Mary changed poopy diapers, or awoke in the middle of the night for a feeding. And God was there when Joseph wearily but obediently brought his family to the Temple for the dedication ceremony.
God shows up in the middle of our daily grind: standing in line at the supermarket, shoveling snow, tidying up our living spaces, going to work or school.
Sometimes, when we least expect it, He’ll send a Simeon or an Anna to confirm His promises again.
Watch for Him. He’s at work.