What We Can Learn from Mary & Joseph

Every year as we hear the Christmas story, we are reminded of the faith of Mary and Joseph. Mary, the unwed, pregnant woman engaged to be married to Joseph, a poor man who knew this baby was not his. Put yourself in that scenario...how would you have responded if you were either Mary or Joseph? They are nothing short of an amazing demonstration of obedience to God.

Think about the events leading up to Jesus’ birth. Luke 2:4-5 says: And because Joseph was a descendent of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazereth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancĂ©, who was now obviously pregnant.

The notes in my bible say this in reference to the passage above:
Sometimes we think to ourselves, “I’m being obedient, so why aren’t things going better?” We face discomfort or inconvenience and immediately think either that we have misread God’s will or that God has made a mistake. But watch this quiet couple as they head toward Bethlehem. God did not soften Joseph’s bumpy road, but strengthened him. God did not provide a luxurious inn for Joseph and Mary, but brought his Son in to the world in humble surroundings. When we do God’s will, we are not guaranteed comfort and convenience. But we are promised that everything, even discomfort and inconvenience, has meaning in God’s plan.

If I were Mary, I'm not sure I would've been faithful given the circumstances. Luckily, God didn't choose me to give birth to the Messiah. But even today we can relate to their story. Reflect back on the past year of your life. Think about the times you felt doubtful or inconvenienced. The times you stepped out of your comfort zone and did what you knew God was asking, and the times you didn‘t.

If you are like me, your year may have felt like a roller coaster - a lot of amazing experiences but also a lot of doubt and uncertainty about where God is taking you. I find that it was the times I stepped out and took a risk - whether it was becoming more involved in a ministry, meeting new people, putting myself in places I never thought I'd be - the experiences that were no longer about me being comfortable but were faithful to God - those were the most rewarding.


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