Thursday, December 5, 2013

Things Aren't What They Seem

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[a]: 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[b] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 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,[c] because he will save his people from their sins.”
           -- Matthew 1:18-21

Joe got his mind blown right here.  Here he is, getting ready to be married, and then he finds out that his bride to be is pregnant with a man that is clearly not him.  Like most people he deals with what he sees on the surface.  Fiance pregnant, I know its not me, therefore, she is unfaithful. 

How many times do we deal with our first impressions.  A situations occurs and we react immediately.  Joseph is given a radical new perspective; This is something God is doing.  And it is what God is doing to save us from sin!

When what we experience as "bad" happens to us, we often cannot see out of the box of that response.  

Romans 8:28 tells us that God will work ALL things to our good.  Let me repeat that.....ALL things.  One more time with feeling.....ALL THINGS!

What Joseph felt was hurtful, broken promises, unfaithfulness, was actually the most important miracle of all time,;that God would become man so that He could die for us.

Look at your life.  What is it that you are hurt by, frustrated with, desperate over?  Are you willing to see that the hand of God is there, even there? 

Our greatest need is not to have an easier life, less problems, more "x".  It is to be made new and finally experience what we are truly made for.  What are hearts cry out for;  To be found in the one who literally crafted you out of dust and breathed life into you.

We are a stubborn and obstinate people.  Usually, we have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to that which is good for us.  Ever try to feed a 3 year old vegetables?  My own heart ache is that so many times it takes difficulties for me to look for God.  And then, in the midst of those difficulties, I feel better than I have ever felt before. 

Weird isn't it?

But here is the key.  When we are oppressed and desperate, you have two diametrically opposed choices;  Find God, or, find grief. 

Joseph could have closed His ears to God's message about what He was really doing.  He could have walked away from Mary, and missed the most amazing opportunity.  Being the father to the son of God!  He would have been left only with his hurt over betrayal, and his loneliness without his spouse.  But instead, he listened for what God was doing, and the trajectory of his life took a much different path.

Where do you need to start looking, and trusting in, God's love for you in the midst of difficult circumstances.  Because even this, even this, He will be gracious and good to you. 

I know this is silly.  But it looks like life sometimes.

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