Welcome back for Part 3 of my series: Discover A Kindred Soul in the Christmas Story.
Last week we left Joseph lifting off into the angel’s second promise: You will name Him Jesus.
“Blast off” is a distant memory. It’s happened – Joseph has left the comfortable atmosphere of his home planet and is navigating in uncharted territory.
He and Mary arrive in Bethlehem for the census and she is “great with child.”
What a burden of responsibility rests upon Joseph’s shoulders. He and Mary are not from here. Their family doctor is back home, along with everything and everyone else they need. Please oh please, Mary, hang on.
You know the story. Mary does not hang on.
It’s probably not exactly how he imagined labor and delivery might play out, but a baby is coming and Joseph is out of options. Hello, stable.
There’s no way to know what sort of conversation Joseph has with God as he settles Mary into the stable, but I wonder if it goes something like this:
Joseph: Where are You,God?
Don’t You see what’s going on?
I must be such a disappointment to You . . and to Mary. I’m doing the best I can, but it’s not enough.
I’m a carpenter for heaven’s sake! I work with wood. If you need something built, I’m your man. But birthing a baby?
Shouldn’t You have considered a more qualified man for the job?
This is too hard.
I am stressed out.
I don’t think I can do it, God.
God: My dear Joseph, I do see what’s going on.
And you are right. This is too hard for you, but what you can do in your own strength has absolutely nothing to do with what I am doing.
I have chosen the right person. I’m sure of it.
It’s you, Joseph. It’s you.
Sometimes reality is just a little too real.
Birth is a messy business.
What a crazy curveball for a simple carpenter.
In the rush of adrenaline, who would blame him if he’s lost sight of the big picture – of the angel’s third promise concerning this baby: He will save His people.
How often am I just like Joseph? When my circumstances jump out of the box and are out of control, I’m not thinking about the big picture at all. I’m more worried about going out of my mind.
Sometimes I feel like an astronaut, airborne and hurling through the differentness and scary enormity of outer space. Sometimes I need assurance that God does see what’s going on, and that what I can do in my own strength has absolutely nothing to do with what He is doing.
Joseph, your uncomplicated life is a thing of the past. It’s a brave new world for you, but oh, how you will marvel in the days ahead:
What if I’d said no? What if I’d said no and missed out on welcoming the Savior to our world?
God chose Joseph.
He’s chosen me.
And He’s chosen you.
Catch your breath.
Still your heart.
Jesus is born.
He will save His people. And He has.
What refreshment for your weary soul.
See you next week for the conclusion of the series.