With his wedding day on the horizon, Joseph’s dream of marrying his fiancee, his virgin bride Mary, is shattered. Mary is pregnant, and he is not the father. When I step into Joseph’s sandals for a moment, I imagine the hurt and confusion coursing through his being. Many would assume Joseph was the father of the Mary’s child or that Mary was unfaithful to him. So now Joseph’s pride and reputation are at stake.
There must have been an all-out war battling in his mind.
No doubt, Joseph heard the dark voice twisting the truth and inveigling him to harm Mary, or at the very least, divorce her.
Our enemy continues his quest to unravel the threads of our faith – especially when we, like Joseph, find ourselves in an unexpected reality.
But there is another voice.
Messenger of the Lord: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to wed Mary and bring her into your home and family as your wife. She did not sneak off and sleep with someone else – rather, she conceived the baby she now carries through the miraculous wonderworking of the Holy Spirit. She will have a son, and you will name him Jesus, which means “the Lord saves,” because this Jesus is the person who will save all of His people from sin.” Matthew 1:20-23 VOICE, emphasis added
Joseph “had in mind to divorce her quietly” by sparing Mary from shame and embarrassment (Matthew 1:19 NIV). Then the angel revealed another way.
Just when Joseph had made up his mind, convinced he knew the best path, God redirects him.
Actually, God opens up a whole new map.
God is in the business of working wonders. Right in the middle of our seemingly bleak circumstances, He is weaving threads together for His glory and our good.
Like Joseph, we can’t see the vast tapestry of God’s activity and how He is weaving the threads of our circumstances in an unimaginable design.
For my friend whose husband’s lay off came as a shock.
For the family whose child will spend the holidays in the hospital.
For the homes with empty chairs from loved ones lost.
For single parents, weighed down by physical and emotional weariness.
For those who find themselves in circumstances they would never have chosen.
For the many orphans in heartbreaking situations whose futures appear bleak.
God may not save us from the hard things we are enduring right now. He may not rescue us in the way we think He should. I don’t know how God will use your circumstances for your good and His glory, but this is what I know – you are not alone, and God is at work. Take a moment to peer into the nativity scene and look at Joseph. The angel didn’t tell Joseph he would escape embarrassment, struggle, or attacks on his reputation. And yet, Joseph experienced the miraculous wonderworking of the Father as he became the earthly father of Jesus.
One day, as believers in Christ, we will escape our earthly strife. Yet, the very best news – the news we all need – the hope for everyone this season and every season of our lives is this:
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:10-12 NIV, emphasis added.
Noel. Come and see Jesus.
Jesus saves you and me from our worst fate, death for our sins. The cross is the most miraculous wonderworking of all time – and Jesus endured it for you, dear one.
Where do we find the Savior? We find Him in unlikely places. Jesus enters our world and sleeps in a feeding trough. He grows up, teaching and serving the misfits, the outcasts, the sick and the poor. The last hours of Jesus’ life on earth, He hangs on a cross to die. Unlikely places.
Let’s not overlook the manger, the stable, the seemingly ordinary or obviously broken circumstances in our lives, for that’s where we find Jesus and His miraculous wonderworking.
Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel,
Who alone works wonders.
And blessed be His glorious name forever;
And may the whole earth be filled with His glory.
Amen, and Amen.
Psalm 72:18-19 NASB
I hope you’ll pause for moments of wonder this season. To help you, I’ve created some lovely freebies. Sign up below for access to printables, phone wallpapers, and other goodies. And if you’d like Lauren Daigle to serenade you, you can purchase Noel here (affiliate link included).