Were Your Raised In a Barn?

by Jake Hershey on December 23, 2012

“Were you raised in a barn?”

If I had a dollar for every time I was asked that as a kid, I’d have a lot more dollars.  I never had a good comeback for it at the time.  I remember thinking to myself, “No, but I’d rather be in one than in the house.”  Of course, I didn’t dare say it.  For one thing, I’d probably get smacked in the mouth for being smart and for another, if my dad heard me say it he dang sure would have found some work that needed doing in said barn.

I spent two hours on the phone with my best friend this evening.  We met my freshman year of high school in high school rodeo and we’ve been pards ever since.  We college rodeoed for the same college for awhile, have drove many a mile together going to rodeos, lived together off and on over the years, etc.  He lives in Nevada now, still rodeos and is a world class saddle bronc rider.  I live in Texas, haven’t rodeoed for 6 years and never was a world class saddle bronc rider.  As friends sometimes do, we got to recollecting about some of the “good ole days”.  The span of our lives when we were around each other the most was from the ages of 15-25  since we competed in rodeo, were in college, lived together, etc., some of you can probably imagine what those “good ole days” consisted of.  Some of it, you can’t.  And that’s probably a good thing.

As I look back on all of the wild, crazy, reckless, stupid things I did in my youth I’m reminded of a few things.  1)  I’m lucky to be alive and that I never killed, injured or impregnated anyone while running around like an idiot.  2)  As a Christian, it amazes me that after all the stupid, sinful things I’ve done that God would forgive me and find me worthy to spread the gospel by writing, preaching, etc.

It amazes me because I’m a just regular old country boy.  I was raised a few miles outside of town and that town was about 300 people at the time.  I never aspired to be anything other than a cowboy.  It never crossed my mind that I would write, teach and preach on God’s word.  My actions for several years reflected that.  But when God took aholt of me, I knew it was part of the calling on my life.  I’m still amazed that he’d use a country bumpkin with a wild, sinful past to spread the gospel.  But then again, I’m not that amazed.

When God sent his son down here, he could have done it however he wanted to.  But he chose a poor, young, unmarried girl to give birth to the Savior of the world.  He chose that she would give birth to him in a barn.  He chose blue collar, working class parents to raise that son.  That son grew up to be a man and he chose regular, working class men to ride with him in ministry.

Christmas will be here in a few days.  It’s a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the savior of the world.  He gave his life so that you and me and anyone else that chooses to believe in him can be forgiven of our sins and spend forever with him.  There is no greater gift that can be given.

It doesn’t matter where you come from, what you’ve done, where you did it or who you did it with.  Jesus Christ was born and died so that you could be forgiven and spend forever in heaven with him.      It all started when he was born in a barn and that’s what we should all be celebrating on Christmas.

The next time somebody asks if you were raised in a barn, just smile and say, “No, but my savior was born in one.”

Hmmmmm…..that might be worth a trip to my parent’s house…..

and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for themLuke 2:7

Jake Hershey 12/23/12

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