Those Awful Moments (Matthew 1:18-20)



If a problem or situation cannot be resolved, I need to understand what the problem is and what I need to do to resolve it…now. While this behavior has usually served me well in my profession, it does not necessarily translate well when dealing with personal relationships. The same skills that can resolve a perplexing medical problem may lead to resentment among friends and family members. I cannot expect my loved ones to drop everything in their lives to address an issue that they may not view with the same degree of uncertainty or importance. My desire to avoid indecision often leads to frustration and bitter feelings that may exacerbate the issues and further delay the resolution.                                                          


Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”

Matthew 1:18-20 (ESV)


The Bible does not give us much information about Joseph, the adopted earthly father of Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Luke traces his heritage from the line of King David. We know that Joseph was a carpenter and undoubtedly taught Jesus his trade. Joseph and Mary also had other children, half-siblings to our Lord Jesus Christ. We also know that he faced an agonizing moment of indecision, that will never be faced by anyone ever again.


“…As he considered these things…”


These were surely the most painful and awful moments that ever confronted Joseph. He was faced with the undeniable reality that his betrothed, Mary, had been unfaithful to him. He had every right, under Jewish law, to publically shame and divorce his wife but instead, he resolved to maintain her honor. He was in a dire state of indecision. He loved Mary but undoubtedly felt betrayed by her. What other possible explanation could there be?  God intervened and gave Joseph and all Creation an incredulous, almost absurd answer. Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit and the child she was carrying would be the Messiah, the One who would redeem mankind of his sins.


God recorded this inspiring example of Joesph’s faith and trust in God that allowed him to encourage all who experience dark moments of indecision. I, like Joseph, must turn to God and trust His guidance. The answers God gives me may seem confusing, even counterintuitive, but instead of projecting my frustration upon others, I must learn to be still and allow God the revered and holy position that only He deserves. He created me and this world. He understands my situation and my indecision better than myself. I must learn to consider these things and focus upon God, my Savior rather than myself, the sinner.


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.


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