Jesus was born into the earth, fully human and fully God, sinless and without blemish. His story will now come and be woven into mine and the Light of Truth will be revealed for the whole world. The strength of what I believe is measured by how much I am willing to suffer for those beliefs.
This story is about Joseph, a quiet, humble man who had been pledged to the love of his life. I can’t imagine the pain he must have felt, the immediate thought of betrayal when he went to pull Mary close and felt a hard mass developing underneath her clothing, when he saw the roundness of her face or the glow about her that wasn’t there before.
I can’t imagine the confusion he felt as she tried to explain how a virgin like herself could be with child. It’s almost too much to even comprehend. Would you have believed her? Would you have believed that the child she was carrying was the child of God? Two choices…Divorce or have her stoned. Wow…
Matthew 1:18-19 (NIV) – This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
His decision would affect the lives of many, including mine and yours, so God made the decision for him.
Matthew 1:20-21 (NIV) – But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.”
Joseph chose to obey God rather than to seek the approval of others. That is a hard pill to swallow for someone like myself who has an incessant need to please everyone around me. Would I have done the same? Am I following God’s will today in my own situations that seem to have me baffled?
After Jesus was born, after the Magi’s visit, after the celsstial miracle announced the birth of a Heavenly King, another angel appeared.
Matthew 2:13-23 (NIV) – When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.“Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” 16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: 18 “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” 19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.” 21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.
How easy life would be if angels stepped in from time to time to tell us what to do and where to go and how long to stay. Josephf was meek. He did as he was told to save a child that wasn’t his born to a wife that was still a young teenager. Someone had to tell him what to do. The good news is that the Holy Spirit is available to us all since the death of that very child ushered in a new covenant. All we have to do is open our eyes, ears, and hearts to receive guidance and encouragement because it comes from everywhere when you are in hopeful expectation of it! For me, I am not a fortune teller, I cannot predict the future, and there are giant mountains looming in my way, but I will go where He leads and stay where He has put me!
Be blessed by this sweet poem I found by an anonymous author. This is for somebody:
I’ll stay where you have put me; I will, dear Lord,
Though I have wanted so badly to go;
I was eager to march with the “rank and file,”
Yes, I wanted to lead them, you know.
I planned to keep step to the music loud,
To cheer when the banner unfurled,
To stand in the midst of the fight straight and proud,
But I’ll stay where you’ve put me.
I’ll stay where you’ve put me; I’ll work, dear Lord,
Though the field be narrow and small,
And the ground be neglected, and stones lie thick,
And there seems to be no life at all.
The field is your own, only give me the seed,
I’ll sow it with never a fear;
I’ll till the dry soil while I wait for the rain,
And rejoice when the green blades appear;
I’ll work where you’ve put me.
I’ll stay where you’ve put me; I will, dear Lord;
I’ll bear the day’s burden and heat,
Always trusting you fully; when sunset has come
I’ll lay stalks of grain at your feet.
And then, when my earth work is ended and done,
In the light of eternity’s glow,
Life’s record all closed, I surely will find
It was way better to stay than to go;
I’ll stay where you’ve put me.