Making Space – An Advent Devotional


A Long Hard Journey

A few months ago, I hiked up a hill with a group of friends. And then I hobbled down. After two hours of climbing uphill, the journey down was exhausting for my untrained, most-comfy-in-PJs-watching-Netflix body. My toenails (a tad too long) pushed against my Nike sneakers (a tad too small), making me dream of a bathtub and a very expensive massage at every step.

The account in Luke 2 tells a story of a different kind of journey – the one that Mary and Joseph made from Nazareth to Bethlehem. From historical accounts of the time period and the terrain, we know that the journey was grueling. It spanned 90 miles and crossed over the rugged hills surrounding Jerusalem. Did they carry enough food and water for the journey that probably took days? Did they wear heavy clothes to protect them from the inclement weather in the harsh Judean winter? We don’t know too many details of the journey, but when Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem, probably overwhelmed and bone tired, there was no warm welcome awaiting them.

Maybe you may feel like your journey last year has been grueling. You weren’t ready for the onslaught of disappointment, broken relationship or shattered dreams. Yet you plodded on ahead; you had little choice. Maybe you were alone and overwhelmed and people shut you out.

But remember what happened in the Luke account the next morning? With the cry of a newborn baby, Mary and Joseph’s lives were forever changed. Yes, the journey was incredibly hard – till the Prince of Peace quietly invaded their world. 

He can do the same for you. Give Him the broken pieces. Weeping may remain for a night, says Scripture. But joy comes in the morning. 


Father God, You know the journey I’ve been on. You’re the God of the universe, but You also know my thoughts from afar. I pray that this Christmas will be a time of healing for me. I pray that You will invade my thoughts and my heart with a peace that is not based on my circumstances. I pray for a bubbling-over joy to fill my heart this Christmas. Amen