Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Joseph's Choice

When Joseph was confronted with a pregnant fiancee, he had a choice to make.  He could choose scorn, shame, and an uncertain future, or he could quietly break his marriage agreement and walk away.  Marrying a woman impregnated by God was not what he expected.  It wasn't the respectable, uncomplicated life he had imagined.  But think of what he would have missed out on if he had rejected God's plan for his life because he thought what God was asking him to do was too hard.
He would have missed out on the nativity.
He would have missed out on hearing the testimony of the shepherds.
He would have missed out on the visit from the wise men.
He would have missed out on holding the promised Messiah in his arms.
He would have missed out on taking the son of God to house of God.
He would have missed out on being the earthly father of the eternal King.
Joseph accepted God's will, as difficult as it was, and was blessed by it.

Like Joseph, we all are confronted with life's interruptions.  Unlike Joseph, most of us aren't given a choice.  We are forced to learn to live a life we never imagined.  And we think what God is asking us to do is too hard.  We may not get to choose our circumstances, but we do get to choose how we respond to them.  Will we accept God's will for our life even if it's not what we want--even if it seems too hard?

The prophet Ezekiel describes an encounter he had with the Lord.  God told him, "Open your mouth and eat what I give you."  Then Ezekiel saw a hand reaching out to him.  It held a scroll covered with funeral songs, other words of sorrow, and pronouncements of doom.  Then a voice said, "Eat what I am giving you."  So Ezekiel opened his mouth and ate it and it tasted as sweet as honey.

God interrupted my life and what he gave me to eat was lament, mourning, and woe.  At first all I could taste was bitterness.  But as I ate it; as I lived it; as I accepted it from God's hand--those things that I thought could only bring pain and sorrow have brought wisdom, perspective, purpose and strength.  Those events that appeared tragic and unable to be redeemed, have now become the sweetest part of me.  I trust that, like Joseph, God has a plan for my life.  And so I will continue to say, "Yes" to God and eat what he gives me.
Because I don't want to miss out on anything.


Mary Delafield said...

Thanks for the reminder to acknowledge ALL things that He gives us are to teach and shape us.

Anonymous said...

Just what I needed to hear today. Thanks