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Greatness Birth From Hardship

A king is a sovereign ruler or chief authority of a nation and people. Most naturally he owns most the land in the territory, and he is the wealthiest.

The king and queen live in an opulent palace, and their children would be born in prosperity not lacking anything.

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A queen who is pregnant with her first child would receive the best maternity and postpartum care.  She would receive the best hospital, doctors, and caregivers. The best of everything worthy of the birth of a prince or princess.

However, the story is told about the birth of a king who was not born in a luxurious palace. In fact, He was born in the lowest of all places even less than a low-income family. He was born among the animals. Imagine your first breath into this world was not fresh air, but one filled with the stench of animal urine, feces, and rotten hay.

What caused this travesty? Perhaps He was not a king after all, or maybe His parents were not royalties. In fact, they were ordinary folks. His father was not a sovereign ruler of a country, he was a carpenter working for his daily food by the sweat of his brow, and his mother was a homemaker.

If this King’s parents were so poor how did He attain royal status? The Bible states that He was royalty because His real Father was not of this earth He was from the heavenly realm.

His birth was foretold by the prophets of long ago that a Star would come out Jacob, and a Scepter would rise out of Israel who would batter the brow of the enemies (Numbers 24:17). He was the rod from the stem of Jesse, and the branch that grew from his roots (Isaiah 11:1).

When it was the ordained time of God the Father, He sent the angel Gabriel to earth on a special mission. He went directly to a young virgin girl who was highly favored by God. A strange greeting came from the mouth of the angel.

 “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” (Luke 1:28).

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The perplexed girl stared at this strange man in amazement. She was not special she was just a humble lady who trusted in her God whom she loved dearly. Before she could utter a word, the angel assured her,

“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father, David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom, there will be no end.” (Luke 1:30-33)

How can a woman who has never known a man become pregnant? What did this stranger mean by those words? She had to find out.

“How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (Luke 1:34).

The angel was ready to give her the answer to her question.

The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.  For with God, nothing will be impossible.” (Luke 1:35-37)

The angel related to her the exceptional child that she would deliver. The Holy Spirit would fell upon her, and the power the power of the supreme God would miraculously fertilize her egg with His seed thus causing her to give birth to a Holy One, who would be called the Son of God.

He was not an ordinary child, and He was not a child from an earthly king. He was the Son of God, ruler of the entire earth and universe. He was more than royalty because His status goes beyond the physical realm.

He would also inherit the throne of His earthly father David, the greatest king who ever lived on earth. But His reign will last forever, and His kingdom will have no end.

Thus, this King is above and beyond all earthly kings. He is the King of kings. As the words of the angels sank in the young girl’s mind, she became, even more, amazed.

She was indeed extremely favored by God. It would be an honor to be called the mother of God. She had no choice but to surrender to the supremacy of the most Holy God and accepted her destiny.

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her (Luke 1:38).

Mary recognized that she was chosen to give birth to greatness. But she also realized that the journey to fulfill her destiny would be paved with hardship.

To God, she was highly favored, but to others, she was only a poor ordinary young girl. No one except her immediate family knew that she was pregnant with the Son of God. No one gave her any special treatment. In fact, in the laws of her land, she would be considered an adulteress for she was an unmarried pregnant woman. Her punishment was death by stone.

Mary fled to the mountains to stay with Elizabeth her relative who was also pregnant with an exceptional child who was ordained to be the forerunner of her Son and announced His mission to the world. As both ladies greeted each other, the fetus in the womb of Elizabeth jumped with joy when he heard the voice of the mother of his Savior.

While in the advanced state of pregnancy, she had to travel on the long and rugged terrain on the back of an uncomfortable donkey to Bethlehem to be registered. Immediately upon arrival in Bethlehem, she went into labor, but she and her betrothed could not find a vacant room to stay. The city was so crowded that all the hotels wee fully booked out.

Mary was in tremendous labor pain because ‘in multiple sorrow and suffering she would give birth’ (Genesis 3:16). In spite of her critical condition, no one offered the couple any shelter in their house.

No one offered them a room or a shed. The desperate couple’s only alternative was a smelly old stable filled with animals and all the trappings that accompanied them.

"Adoration of the Shepherds" by Gerard van Honthorst, 1622. Image courtesy of wikipedia.org

“Adoration of the Shepherds” by Gerard van Honthorst, 1622. Image courtesy of wikipedia.org

They made the best of the situation and hastily cleaned out as much animal’s poop as possible and prepared a Manger with dried grass and old clothes to make a comfortable bed for their newly born Son, who was ordained to be the King of the heavens and earth – a kingdom that will have no end.

No one knew how powerful this child would be. No one except a few shepherds, an entourage of wise men, a couple of relatives and devoted servants of God.

The Lord gave them the knowledge to comprehend, and you have also received this understanding so that you too can worship the King of kings.

Before you can be elevated to a high position in God, you must first be humbled to the lowest position.

Before you can receive fame and power, you must go through a period of obscurity.

Before you can gain wealth, you must begin from poverty so that you will appreciate your prosperity.

Before you can become a great leader, you must experience sufferings in the wilderness of trials.

Because greatness is birth from hardship!

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You are Special!                                  

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