Luke 2:1, 4-5: “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.”

Sometimes, when life happens, it happens fast! Put yourself in Joseph and Mary’s shoes for a minute:

After returning from her aunt and uncle’s house and three months into her pregnancy, Mary had to face her family and her fiancé Joseph. Thankfully, Joseph believed that Mary’s child was the Son of God and didn’t call off the marriage.

Then, out of the blue, Augustus’s decree was requesting all citizens of Israel to register in their ancestral towns.  This would be Mary’s second trip to Judea during her pregnancy, only now she was in her third trimester.  They had to travel south along the flat lands of the Jordan River, then west over the hills surrounding Jerusalem, and on to Bethlehem – approximately 90 miles one way. It must have been a fairly grueling trip, especially in Mary’s condition. If it wasn’t for this untimely decree she could have delivered the baby in the comfort of her own home. In the end however all fell into place. Born in Bethlehem the child drew the family connection to King David’s hometown. Ancient prophesy was being fulfilled.

If we feel that God’s timing is out of sync then there is a good chance that we are out of sync with His timing. Life’s unforeseen seasons and surprising events are similar to following a syncopated beat in the realm of music. Syncopation is a disturbance or interruption of the regular flow of rhythm. Dancing to God’s heartbeat, we must be prepared for surprises. God is a wonderful dance teacher. We will get the hang of it as we get to know Him better.

We are poor life’s dancers if we impatiently expect a problem to be solved yesterday and feel that God’s way of intervening is slow or seems to make matters worse. Trusting Him, we will be better equipped to deal with life’s curve balls. Mary and Joseph’s trip to Bethlehem is a great example. Life is a journey, and with God we will have the trip of a lifetime.

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