Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.~Luke 2:8-12 NIV
I love this time of year. It starts with the beautiful season of giving thanks, crisp night air and the crunch of brilliant leaves under foot. That gives way to the twinkling of lights, fragrant boughs, beautifully wrapped packages and mugs of hot cocoa on frosty, winter mornings.
If we were not careful, it would be easy to shift the birth of the Savior to second position in this season. With the noise, hustle and hurry of the secular, the profound message of the nativity can be lost in its silence.
There, in the dark of night, the birth of the prophesied Messiah, the Savior of the world, was announced to lowly shepherds. They found the Christ child in humble surroundings, far from the pomp and ceremony befitting a king.
As the animals looked on, there, nestled in the feeding trough, The Bread of Life Himself—the divine offering to satisfy hungry souls, rested on a throne of hay.
In a dark and desperate time, the Father made a way in a manger to reconcile mankind to Himself.~Julie Souza Bradley Lilly, contributing author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships
He took upon Himself the lowest place. In a dark and desperate time, the Father made a way in a manger to reconcile mankind to Himself.
Beloved, as the Angel of the Lord pronounced Good News to the shepherds in darkness, so the darkness of your circumstance does not consume the light of His love for you. Under a tapestry of brilliant stars and amid soft bleats and the rustle of angel wings, the King of the Universe bent His knee and came to Earth.
Likewise, though the Earth be His footstool, it is not beneath Him to reach down to lift you from your boggy mire. He sees you in your difficulty—the dark recesses of desperation. In compassion and gentleness, He reaches out nail-scarred hands to receive you to Himself.
Don’t wait until your room is clean and your house in order. He is not unfamiliar with the accommodations of humble resorts. Welcome His presence into your lack, that your circumstance might become a manger to receive Him.
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel—which means, “God with us.”~Matthew 1:23 NIV
Share three ways you honor Jesus during the Christmas and Easter seasons.
Father God, thank You that the birth of the Savior was announced to shepherds before kings. You set aside the majesty of Heaven to live in extraordinary meekness among the common. I welcome You to come and reign in my lowly places. Emmanuel, come and live within my heart. Bring the miracle of new life to what appears beyond hope. Thank You that the miracle in Bethlehem foreshadowed the miracle of Your presence that is offered to every one of Your children. Thank You for the gift of Jesus, wrapped in humble swaddling clothes who is my Daily Bread. I offer You all that I am and all that I have—both good and bad. Come and take the throne of my heart and make a way in my manger.
In Jesus’ Name ❤️
Copyright 2019: A Way in a Manger: Julie Souza Bradley Lilly: All Rights Reserved
Meet Our Contributor
JULIE SOUZA BRADLEY LILLY
Julie Souza Bradley Lilly is the writer of Prayers of a Ragamuffin Warrior, a self-professed chief-cook-and-bottle-washer at Gift of Thorns Facebook ministry.
She is a devotion writer for VineWords: Devotions and More, specializing in the area of prayer, and a contributing author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships (VineWords Publishing).
When asked about who she is, Julie is quick to tell you she is a worshipper, a servant, blessed wife, step-mom of four adult children, caregiver, retired chiropractor, writer, and most-importantly, a forgiven daughter of God. With thirty-plus years in healthcare, Julie is passionate about seeing the broken come to receive healing and find wholeness in right-relationship with the Creator. Through her own multiple injuries and PTSD, a traumatic brain injury and other health concerns, she has found the generosity of God to be true to His Word in turning all things together for the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
For those entrusted with a thorn in the flesh, one of Julie’s greatest joys is to see the discovery of the treasure the Father hides, tucked in among the thorns. Julie shares that God is good and His mercies endure forever. It is Julie’s prayer that the body of believers will honor the Lord and encourage one another toward wholeness, spiritual growth, and mountain-moving faith.
For more encouragement, visit Julie’s websites. At Prayers of a Ragamuffin Warrior, Julie shares encouraging articles with prayers. At Gift of Thorns, Julie and her contributor team share powerful and life-changing input, inspiring readers to passionately pursue God.
CONNECT WITH JULIE LILLY AT