We often think that if we are on God’s path life should be easy. When we hit obstacles, discouragement, failure or loneliness we quickly jump to the notion that we have made a wrong turn or worse: that God has abandoned us. Consider the birth of Jesus. God spoke to a young woman and “blessed” her with a child. I write “blessed” because to me what happened to Mary could easily look like a punishment or life ending failure. I wonder if the question “what did I do to deserve this?” ever came up. What did Joseph really think? Most men would have walked away – or ran!
Pregnancy out of wedlock. Threat of divorce. Threat of death. Separation from family. Poverty. Forced travel by donkey in 9th month. Travel to a foreign city. Overcrowded conditions. Sleeping in a dirty barn. Delivery in a barn. No doctor. No medical help. No sterilization. Travel back to hometown by donkey.
Questions, doubts? I would have had thousands! There was nothing romantic about this assignment. There was nothing glorious other than the visitation by angels. Life for Mary and Joseph would have been much simpler without God’s “blessing”.
Two thousand years later we celebrate this miracle. In current terms this “miracle” must have seemed like a never ending curse.
When God calls you, be obedient like Mary and Joseph were. But don’t expect a rosy path. God will bring your miracle. It just might look the way you think a “miracle” is supposed to look.
Luke 2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.