Thursday, August 16, 2012
~ Never alone..."
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. (Matt 1:20)
Deep in thought and utterly confused, Joseph weighs the prospect of marrying a woman who claims to be "with child" and he knows with all certainty that he is not the father! His upbringing, he knowledge of the law and his devotion to God tell him that this woman is not worthy of becoming his wife. His heart tells him otherwise! God sends His angel to assure him that it's okay to take her as such and raise the child as his own. Answering God's calling is not generally an easy task. The initial "yes" that we commit to is simplier than the journey itself. It is often frought with trials and adversities that most people would not only walk away from, but run away from! Yet, here stands Joseph - steadfast and willing. He answered God's calling with a "yes".
We don't always know the reasons for our trials, we generally don't realize them until we are over our heads and sinking fast! God lifts us up out of them at the precise moment we realize the truth surrounding them. To "serve" Him is what the bottom line is. How and where and through what means we accomplish that is generally left for Him to decided. He does not come to us with a basket of goodies and ask us to choose which of those we would prefer. He gives us what we need to get us through to the next leg of our journey. Our journey has but one purpose: to lead others to Christ on our way to the kingdom.
How wonderful it would be to spend the remainder of our lives captivated by the loving surroundings of only other Christians. There would be no temptations, there would be no inconsistencies, there would be no struggles - for if all are believing and all are knowing - there is nothing to "teach". Our examples are our greatest teaching tool. How we live our lives, how we present ourselves to those who do not walk in the light gives them a hunger for what we have that they do not. Although we may be suffering on the inside, we must always present the attitude that all things of God are good!
Love of money is one of the greatest tools the enemy uses to lure God's children into his army. The want for "more" can lead us down a path that constantly takes us from the work He has for us. He will provide what we need. Our "comfortable surroundings" will come, but not in this world, not in this life. They will come to us when we have completed our work here on earth. Sometimes the "dreams" we have become more important than the work we do. The focus is placed on achieving that goal as opposed to what takes us there - the road. Those we meet along the way, those who do not know the power of the King, must be introduced to His mercy and grace - sometimes that is a visible introduction. As with Thomas, seeing is believing. When others see that joy in you, it bears witness to a greater providence. Those who have so much more materially than you, may not even look down at you because they feel there is no need to! In order to get their attention, you must be braver, stronger and more devoted than you believe you can be! Every single action is taken into account. Every single word you utter is heard.
There are some people who will never be reached, some who just will not shoot a look in your direction, some who will continue to insist that their way is the only way and your way is for others - not them. They believe that they are above because of who or what they are - and there is nothing you can do to convince them otherwise. They want to stay with their head buried in their bank account and do their Daffy Duck impersonation (it's mine - all mine)! They do not share, the do not reach out, the do not worship the God of Heaven - they worship only their money and the false teachings of their church.
Jesus tells us that we cannot serve two - only one! Which one do you choose? Will you be Joseph and forego the pride or will you choose the easier, softer road, the one lined with good intentions? I choose Joseph's road! Acceptance of God's plan for me regardless of what it may look like to others and most likely narrow and hard to navigate at times. The blessings are real and the reward is great! Eternity is a lot longer than the time we spend here. Make the best of it, make it count, make it His way and not yours! Make it last!