Have you ever planned a trip & it ended up not going quite like you expected? Perhaps your favorite restaurant was closed, the hotel was not what you thought, or the weather was terrible the whole time. It left you feeling less than satisfied with the experience and with resolutions to travel differently the next time.
Joseph and Mary, the parents of Jesus, can definitely relate to that type of experience. They had gone to Joseph's hometown for a census and found themselves without a place to stay and having child born in a barn. John Piper (pastor & author) described their situation by saying, "A stable was not where Joseph wanted to be that night. It held no romance for him. He was there out of desperation."
The interesting twist is what Joseph perceived as desperation was actually a necessary part of God's plan for salvation. It was only in the humble beginnings of a stable that the story of God coming to save us could have its earthly start. Joseph was left with his only alternative in a difficult situation and it was the perfect way to welcome a humble Savior.
What desperate situations in our own lives are an opportunity for God to show His plan in action? Do we trust Him enough to deliver us when our reservoir of hope seems to be empty? These are the moments when our need is overmatched by His provision if we are open to receiving it.