19And her [promised] husband Joseph, being a just and upright man and not willing to expose her publicly and to shame and disgrace her, decided to repudiate and dismiss (divorce) her quietly and secretly.
20But as he was thinking this over, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary [as] your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of (from, out of) the Holy Spirit.
21She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus [the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua, which means Savior], for He will save His people from their sins [that is, prevent them from failing and missing the true end and scope of life, which is God]."
As I thought about these Joseph's and Mary's perilous situation, I got a little taste of the very dire circumstances for each. Try to consider what a strict religious culture they were a part of. The power that women have today, non existent by our standards. Mary, by the religious and cultural standards would, ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN, be worthy of the death alotted to an adulteress. Think for bit on that. All my life a weak spot I have is telling bad news. I would just about put myself in any imaginable Lucy and Ethel moment to avoid telling bad news. Ridiculous, but true. May the Lord forgive me and gently lead me. But can you possibly imagine Mary having this conversation with Joseph? The Lord provided of course, but, I wouldn't think that would nullify her fears, but instead give her the grace, strength and favor to overcome them.
Now think of Joseph. Clearly he did not "buy" what she was selling as her "story". Yet, he was a gentle man, because he didn't want her death. He wanted to do it quietly. Divorce her discreetly. Can't blame him. From a religious point of view, yes there were prophecies, about a coming Messiah, but, clearly it was like it is today, not in my lifetime, and even if it was, THIS isn't what it would look like.
It looked from every understandable carnal viewpoint like a disaster. A pity. A shame.
But, it wasn't. Not. At. All. It was GLORIOUS!!!! The Lord was birthing something BEYOND ANYONE's comprehension in Mary. She humbly agreed to yield, to submit. She rose to the occasion. She probably came to understand by degrees, generally in my experience at least, that's how faith works. She wasn't stoned, she wasn't put away, she was loved. She lived, she gave birth.
Joseph heard the Lord, even in the heat of the moment where he was planning his discreet get away. He listened, he obeyed. he shielded, he protected, he lived to see the birth and THE Messaiah was born.
In Galatians 4:19 Paul tells the Church in Galatia "My little children, for whom I am again suffering birth pangs until Christ is completely and permanently formed (molded) in within you."
As I thought to myself and to The Lord on my bed that day I was aware that as His sons and daughters, we are NOT WITHOUT HOPE. We belong to a Father God that is GOOD to us. We live in a fallen world, we dance between carnal and spirit in our lives, which makes the ingredients for many GLORIOUS DISASTERS! Sometimes we help them them to happen, sometimes we are happened to, you know? BUT the GLORY? THE GLORY IS ALL HIM!!!!
Monday, what was being formed in me, and in Jason was for each of us our own separate resolves, each good and right. Additionally, for myself, The Lord I am quite sure, was teaching that what I was going through in that moment was not a matter of provision, which is what I was focused on, but a matter of an appointed time. He was very clear in His impression to me, and the way the situation worked out backed it up. He allowed unpleasant circumstances , did not cause them, allowed them to help Christ, the Mind of Christ be formed in me, and in Jason. That was my disaster - what is yours? It is not important that we know the middle, it is important that we KNOW The Omega! The Alpha and The Omega, The Beginning and The Ending!
Christ in YOU! and In ME! THE HOPE OF GLORY!!!! Hallelujah!
OH MY GOSH! As I finish this GAC is on and Bucky Covington just came on stage singing his cover of a Nickleback song! I'm in Hilly Billy Heaven, Ya'll!!! God Wink! This moment was JUST FOR ME!
Much love, Maria!