“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7, ESV).
Have you been feeling vulnerable lately? If so, I believe there is a message tucked into the Christmas story that will directly speak to your heart.
“She gave birth to her firstborn son…” Have you ever seen a newborn? As much as I love the beautiful manger scenes that make their appearances this time of year, many of them fail to portray exactly how tiny Jesus’ body was, lying in that manger. I held a precious baby the other day who was just one day old. I could hardly feel his weight in my arms. Often first time parents, perceiving the susceptibility of their brand new child, will exclaim, “I’m afraid to hold him! I don’t want to break him!” Newborns are such teeny little people!
In other words, Jesus gets vulnerability. He has personally submitted His being to the epitome of helplessness. I marvel at God’s choice to enter the world in such an utterly fragile way. If keeping Jesus protected from the devil until the Father’s entire plan could unfold for His time on earth, why would He choose a twenty-inch, ten-pound frame (approximately) for this purpose? Could He have picked a more indefensible shape? There are no other human beings more defenseless than infants!
This is why. He came to show us the way He wants us to live. He came to teach us — A) that vulnerability is okay, and B) that Daddy God will deliver on His promises to successfully, powerfully shield us under His wings. He came to model for us total dependence on the Father for protection and sustenance. This is how He desires that you and I operate too.
In spite of the reality that Baby Jesus could not even lift a finger to defend Himself, the enemy could do Him no harm. He could not even touch Him. Which reminds me of what Daddy has promised us: “…nothing shall in any way harm you” (Luke 10:19, AMP).
During those humble beginnings, Jesus could not do a single thing for Himself. He could not even sit up. He received absolutely all of His care from Mary and Joseph. Before He became the Savior of the world, He learned, by experience, both obedience and complete dependence. He assumed the posture of need. Throughout the rest of His earthly sojourn, He leaned entirely into the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit, for everything. He literally did nothing on His own, but only what His Daddy moved through Him to do and say.
God sometimes asks us to go through periods where we feel vulnerable, to train us to live this same way. However, just as Jesus did not remain a baby, seasons of vulnerability will not last forever. Our Lord has now been given the Name that is exalted far above every other name!
Like Him, humble yourself. Lean completely into the Father’s protection, empowering, and sustenance. Acknowledge your absolute dependence on Him. The day is coming when the Lion of Judah will be roaring mightily through your spirit. Meanwhile, as Baby Jesus relaxed in total abandon to Joseph’s strong arms, sink down luxuriously into Daddy God’s perfect, tender care.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7, NKJV).
What are your thoughts on seasons of vulnerability? I would love to hear about them in the comments!