Sometimes in life, it is difficult to tell who is winning and who is losing.
Consider Joseph’s stint in slavery, the three Hebrews’ stroll in a fiery furnace, and our Lord’s own trial and crucifixion. Each of these events shouted the defeat of God’s purposes, and yet each of these defeats was actually a doorway to an unprecedented victory.
Sometimes defeated, anti-climax moments are actually tipping points in the story.
From all natural perspectives, the birth of Christ was the greatest anti-climax in human history.
- His mother was turned out on the street and had to deliver Him in a sheep pen.
- His arrival lacked the dignity and fanfare that normally accompanied a royal birth.
- No one observing the stable would have thought, “Surely, a king has just been born here!”
- Rather, His nursery smelled like cow manure, His crib was a feeding trough, and His only witnesses, shepherds.
- On the surface, everything about His birth was a giant anti-climax.
Yet in that disappointing moment, something else was happening, and all of heaven knew that the most glorious of victories had just been unleashed in the world. Immanuel, God with us, had come near.
What looked like an anti-climax was the tipping point for human history.
Christmas reminds us to be slow in our judgments. Things are not always as they appear. Sometimes our defeated moments are actually detours that will lead to greater victories.