Even when you can't see it
Sometimes, especially around Christmas time, I look back at the story of Mary and Joseph- the time when they delivered baby Jesus and brought the Savior into the world- and I think to myself "It doesn't make sense." Why did this have to happen like this God? And how did it feel back in those times to be Joseph or Mary, to be the shepherds or the wise men who came to find a little baby in a bed of hay?
I think so often we expect that walking with God will make sense, that it will be logical, that we will be able to understand there reasons why some things are happening. So often we want to understand what Jesus is doing in our lives right now. What is his plan and purpose and reasoning for this thing?
Yet so often, we encounter some of the most deepest and life changing growth or faith during times that we don't understand. We grow and change during our trials. And later as we look back at the stories of our life, we see how God was changing us or how God was using us.
For God to be able to use Mary, she had to have faith in what she couldn't see and didn't understand. It was terrifying. Because what if God's promises weren't true? What if his promise of providing Joseph was a lie? What if she was stoned before she could prove she was a virgin? What if she couldn't find a place to have the delivery of Jesus? What if they experienced birthing issues?
Why did Jesus have to be born in a manger? What an uncomfortable birth that must have been! Why couldn't he just have been born in a room or by a midwife? So many details, so many questions, Mary must have wondered with tears. Should I keep trusting the God of the Universe with my heart in all of these things that don't make sense?
I think at some point in our lives, this is a question we are all going to ask. Do I trust God enough to take this step in faith even though I don't know if it will work out. Are God's promises true enough that I can risk so much knowing that He will provide enough for me?
Or will I run away, will I hold onto what I have right now and stop trusting God?
Mary didn't know that her faith would directly impact millions of people in the life to come and would be a crucial part in providing salvation and hope and encouragement. Mary had no idea that her little baby would be worshipped by wise men and shepherds and angels. That at her birth, she would receive the sweetest concert of angelic singing celebrating her baby and celebrating her part that she has played in God's good work. And Mary probably didn't know that her precious little baby, would be crucified and die a terribly painful death on a cross, after giving everything he had to serve people on earth and restore purpose and hope and joy in their lives once again.
Mary didn't know so many things. And so often, neither do we know. We don't know the plans that God has for us. We don't know why certain things have happened in our lives the way they did. We don't know why certain tragedy or hardship has happened to us or our family.
But we have a Father that knows, we have a Father that understands. Even when we can't see it, He's working. Even when we can't feel it, He's working. He never stops working for our good. So maybe even if you still have questions, and you can't see the final story's resolution, maybe you don't have to have all the answers in order to have enough faith. Just like Mary, just like Joseph who bravely accepted her and loved her risking his life as well, choose to follow Jesus. Choose to live a life of faith even when the things you see around you cause you to question or wonder why. Because living in faith, is our only hope of living with Jesus, off being used with Jesus, of finding healing, purpose, and joy in this fallen world. And knowing Jesus is worth the risk because of all His promises are proven true.