Look Into the Grotto

The baby arrived in the early morning hours of Christmas Eve day. The parents had prepared a room for her complete with soft blankets and lullaby music. They were so ready to hold her.

She appeared at 3:20 a.m., and they waited to hear her cry. Why isn’t she crying?

It was then that her mom and dad heard her make tiny sounds, as if she were trying to speak. 

But there was no cry.

The nurse wrapped her in a warm blanket and allowed her mother to touch her tiny hand before whisking her out of the room. The doctor explained she couldn’t cry because her lungs had not fully developed. 

The room that was prepared for her would have to wait.

Later that evening, the baby’s mother sat quietly in a lonely, darkened hospital room. She had just walked back from a visit to the NICU. She had looked through the glass that separated her from her infant. She saw the IV and tubes and monitors connected to her innocent baby tucked in an incubator. 

How she longed to hold her! But, more than that, she longed for someone to tell her everything would be okay. She whispered a prayer and thought of another mother and father …

Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem and found no safe, comfortable place to sleep. 

The shepherds hurried to see the child announced by many angels. They must have told Joseph and Mary about the spectacular baby declaration. Why else would they have been allowed to look in on the newborn Jesus? The manger was not a soft bed. It was a trough hewn out of rock. The only warmth was from the cloths Mary had carefully wrapped around the babe and perhaps some straw to cushion him.

After the shepherds left, we read that Mary treasured and pondered these “things” in her heart. Did she hold Jesus close and vow she would never allow anyone to hurt Him? Did tears slip from her eyes and gently fall on tiny hands as she pressed her lips to his forehead? 

Was she overwhelmed with love and the weight of responsibility as she gazed at his face and gently traced his lips and chin? Did she smile with pride as she counted his fingers and toes?

Did her heart skip a beat as she remembered this is the child who came to save the world?

The shepherds returned to their post, glorifying God and praising Him for all they had seen and heard.

And the world would never be the same.

The worry slipped away from the young mom’s heart as she considered the birth of Christ. If God could create the world and everything in it …

If God knew all there was to know … 

If God provided a way for forgiveness and eternity in Heaven …

If God’s love was wide, long, high and deep …

And, if God sent His very Son to sacrifice His life…

This same God could take care of her tiny infant that struggled to breathe. This same God would provide more than enough peace and strength and hope and joy.

Are you struggling to breathe? Are your shoulders low with the weight of concern over things you cannot control? Is your mind burdened with the difficulties of life? Is your heart heavy with sorrow?

Look into the grotto and see the Christ-child. Look beyond the darkness of the cave and see the Savior. See the God whose love is wide, long, high, and deep.

Whisper a prayer of faith, trusting Him to work His perfect will.

Oh, that sweet tiny little girl born at 3:20 a.m. on Christmas Eve day? My precious daughter, who recently gave birth to her second son. God is working His perfect will in her life. She is a gift to all who know her.


For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
· Isaiah 9:6 ·


cover photo courtesy of Bing Images





in the Quiver

6 thoughts on “Look Into the Grotto

  1. Whew! Finally! She delivered! Oh thank God the little baby girl was safe. As much as I enjoyed the imagery of seeing Mary with her Son, the Son of Man; my mind couldn’t escape the worry of a parent with a child in the NICU. Oh, but for the peace of God; the priceless gift of knowing “even if.” What must it have been like for Jesus’ parents? Did they know this small child was born to die for them and us? What must they have prayed? I think, like us, “thy will be done Lord…” God’s blessings and thank you for your stirring post this morning.


    1. Thank you, JD. Those moments are as fresh as if they were yesterday. God is faithful! Always working! Always knowing. Merry Christmas to you and yours!


  2. I adore how our Father fulfills our longings with His all-encompassing embrace. Thank you for sharing from your life-stories. I draw encouragement and strength from the power of His active, intimate presence in every circumstance.


    1. Charla, how wonderful it is to know and be loved by the God of never-the-less! I love how He teaches us more about that love in every experience in life.


  3. Shelley, thank you for sharing the beautiful story of your daughter’s birth. Your response to God’s plan for sending Christ reminds us that even in difficult situations, God is worthy of our trust.


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