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teacups at home

Let me introduce you to this guy. Pick up your teacup that probably comes from your own kitchen because we all know we are not going anywhere today! Pour yourself some calming tea or coffee and have a rest. We are home more right now, but I feel as tired or probably more so, these past many weeks! Whew! You can sit on your feet and get comfy. So, this guy comes from a humble family, loves God, and truly wants to follow God in all He does. He is a young guy engaged to a young girl and realizes she is expecting a baby. Not to publicly embarrass her, he figures he will simply end the engagement. However, God has other plans. I am sure you can guess we are talking about Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus Christ. You also may know that after an angel visits this humble ordinary man, he realizes the Baby is from God and will save us from our sins. It sounds kind of weird talking about Joseph as Baby Jesus at this time of year, but we can gather gems from this story that apply to us any time of year!

Joseph faced scary circumstances. He could have been concerned about major embarrassment. He could have experienced hurt from Mary. He probably had a million questions about how this situation he was placed in was going to work. It is pretty amazing to realize that Joseph was chosen to be a part of God’s plan for the Messiah! The prophecy about the Messiah from the Old Testament was fulfilled at this time (Matthew 1).

God told Joseph not to be afraid. He knew Joseph would be scared, and He told Joseph not to be afraid in Matthew 1:20. God knows what we experience might scare us but He speaks to us through His Word to help us stay close to Him and keep walking forward in obedience without fear.

Another amazing part of this narrative is we get to see part of God’s loving character. Although Joseph was looking at some pretty unheard of circumstances, God’s Words spoken through the angel calmed his fears. God’s Words strengthened his faith which encouraged his obedience.

The Baby’s Name is Immanuel, which means “God is with us,” fulfilling another prophecy from the Old Testament. He is with us in all of our struggles and joys. Whatever you might be facing today, He is near and He hears your heart, even when there are no words.

Sometimes life gets to us, right? It’s too tough, too frustrating, too thankless, too unbearable…God knows that and we can feel abandoned, but God is near and is with you and me. He is still Immanuel even today. God is working in our lives even when we cannot see it. People are experiencing a lot of different kinds of losses at this time. Loss of people, jobs, money, food, routine, connection, and it can become overwhelming quickly. He knows how we feel and even the secret stuff we keep hidden. We can be comforted in our brokenness by sincerely understanding that He understands completely, is with us, and is working His perfect plan.

Joseph’s life story also shows us that he did not hesitate to follow God and we see “he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded Him” (Matthew 1:24). This unknown small-town young man was used by God to raise the Messiah of the world that had been spoken of centuries before! This modest man was chosen, in fact, to adopt the Son of God and take on the role of His earthly Daddy! God can certainly use you and me to carry out His plan. When life takes us by surprise or becomes frustratingly tiresome, God will give us the strength to keep walking on and keep obeying Him. He loves us enough to be “God is with us.”

How is God working in your fears and frustrations? I know we all have them, probably in unique ways right now in our culture, so look up and know He loves you! He can use you and me in ways we could never imagine as He speaks to our fears just as He did to Joseph long ago.



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