So this is what it’s supposed to look like, right? The nativity set in your front yard, I mean.
Well, mine didn’t. For the entire month of December, something – or should I say someone – crucial was missing.
It all started last year when I took my yard nativity set in to Children’s Church as my visual aid in telling the Christmas story on a stage before 200 kids. My coffee table model was just too small, so it seemed like a good idea to heist the larger hollow plastic model from the yard.
Everything was great until the chubby 8-year-old playing Mary was so startled by the heavenly host appearing that she stepped backward on the manger and sent Baby Jesus log-rolling across the stage. You could hear the c-r-a-c-k of the cheap plastic manger legs in the back row.
Because the set is 20-years-old, there are no replacements available, and I haven’t been able to find any wooden boxes or feed troughs that would do. So we’ve had no manger to house the wee Savior all season. It just didn’t seem right to lay the Prince of Peace on the bare ground, so we decided to leave him boxed up in the garage until an idea hit us.
But none did. Until today, Christmas Eve.
I was in the backyard, sprawled on the hammock under the big oak tree, and happened to remember our manger-less manger scene. “Lord, can you please help us with this one? We want to honor Your son, but we’ve exhausted all our ideas. Got any You can share?”
About a minute later, a shaft of sunlight peeking through the leaves hit something metalic in our yard debris pile at the back of our lot and shone like a lantern. It was an old rusty fireplace grate we’d discarded years ago, the PERFECT size for a manger.
It had been there all along but we never saw it until we asked for heavenly help.
Isn’t it heart-warming how God will provde a place for the Savior in our lives if we only ask Him?