He had trudged on for days
Through the cold and the heat
Till the dust of long roads
Was caked hard on his feet
And behind on the donkey
Mary followed as best
As she could though she ached
And she wished they could rest
Then she touched Joseph’s shoulder
And he turned with a smile
Their eyes knowingly met
So, he paused for a while
Then he looked to the village
At the crest of the hill
And remembered God’s promise
Was to be there fulfilled
And he picked up the reins
Then pressed on one more mile
Trusting this was God's place
For the birth of His childJoseph's Pause by Peter Caligiuri copyright 2021 all rights reserved
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David: To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. Luke 2:4-5 KJV
But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who werein the prison whatever they did there it was his doing. Genesis 39:21-22
My wife and I are somewhat addicted to HGTV home remodeling shows. We enjoy watching while either the Property Brothers; Rick and Joanna Gaines or Hillary Farr rip to shreds and then rebuild old worn out houses and make them into someone’s dream home! Have you ever noticed that construction zones and demolition zones seem very much alike? Maybe that’s because both involve some smashing down and some digging up that are equally painful. Recently we experienced lots of digging up, filling in and then digging up and filling in again of several large pipes under our street. The issues were complex and the rerouting didn’t work the first second or even third time. One night they were smashing and pounding till 11 o’clock. My response to waking up to the racket was to put my jacket on over my pj’s and march indignantly down the street to complain.
The tired foreman of the job took off his hardhat and politely answered that they couldn’t wait to go home either but they had to finish before they were allowed to quit. Sheepishly I went home realizing that I was not the only one who wished the work was done. In Joseph’s life he also passed through a construction zone when he was unjustly thrown into prison. Unlike me, Joseph was patient and continued to listen rather than complain. The heavy construction that God was doing in his life became a season of blessing and growth because Joseph chose to listen.
On those occasions where I have followed Joseph’s example and tuned my ears to listen I have discovered as he did that it is God who is at work digging and pounding and He won’t stop till He has finished! God’s promises are real. He hasn’t abandoned us or forgotten the dream which He sent. In fact the painful circumstances which we are in today are what God is using to build the spiritual dream home which He has prepared for us in eternity!
But as he considered these things behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying, “Joseph son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:20 ESV
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David. Luke 2:4 ESV
Sometimes I lie awake the night before a trip, turning over in my mind whether we have enough food, clothing, and money for the days ahead. On those nights I remember the story of Joseph the carpenter and husband of Mary.
In spite of the hardships he trusted instead of complained
Amazingly in spite of so many things Joseph might have worried about, we don’t hear one single complaint from him. The Bible is quite clear that Mary and Joseph were not super-heroes. They just trusted God.
No matter what anybody thought Joseph chose God’s plan over his own
But Joseph also had to choose to say yes. He had to decide if he would accept the angel’s message and accept Mary as his wife.
When change was difficult and painful he traveled in Faith instead of fear
Later as he and Mary prepared to go to Bethlehem, he also had to trust God to protect them along the road where thieves often lay in wait. Where would they stay? Should they return to Nazareth or make a new life in Bethlehem? But he traveled in complete trust that God would handle all the details.
As Christmas approaches and this year draws to a close do you some fears about your future? Do you wrestle with doubts about God’s plan for your life? If we want to travel on in confidence then we need to bring all our questions to God; just like Joseph and then trust Him for the answers. God knows the road ahead just as He understands our doubts and fears. God has not chosen us to become super-heroes out to save the day. He has chosen us because we are ordinary and God loves to save every plain ordinary person who will trust Him with all our hearts!