Emotions of unbelief, joy, thrill and fear engulf me as I ponder what should be simply good news. What is wrong with me? Why can't I just be joyful? Why am I so scared to accept this new assignment from God? So scared of trusting the call, giving 100% and falling short of fulfilling the mission. The "what-if" scenarios fill my reasoning and fight to steal my joy.
The account of Joseph, husband of Mary, grips my attention (Matthew 1:18-25). Joseph, engaged (as good as married) to Mary, realizes she's pregnant and knows that he's not the father. He has not been intimate with Mary. Intimacy would wait until the wedding ceremony in the months to come. We can only imagine the sear of emotions Joseph might have felt: shock, betrayal, deceived, ashamed, anger... In my experience men are most often problem-solvers. They like to fix, so Joseph was resolving the situation in his mind: what would be best for him and his family; Mary and her family? (After all, she could be stoned for finding herself in this condition.) And then, during one possibly fitful night of sleep, something happens that cannot be dismissed.
But as (Joseph) 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. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus for he will save his people form their sins." Matthew 1:20-21
The word behold isn't a word we use in the English language too much, so I couldn't help but wonder its significance here. It means to call to attention something external or exterior to oneself; it often comes before words which are to be particularly noted. It's like throwing fifty exclamation points after the sentence for emphasis. It's screaming, "Pay attention, what's about to happen is huge!"
An angel comes to Joseph and says do no be afraid to take the next steps because God is doing something huge! And what does Joseph do? He obeys and he chooses to trust that everything thing the angel said was true even though he doesn't know all of the details.
There's such hope for us in this part of Jesus' arrival as the God-Man. God takes what was shameful and hard to believe and he makes it great. In Joseph's case, God implements the plan to save mankind.
Okay, so maybe situations in our lives won't be quite so huge, but our lives are important to God. Every detail of our lives is recorded in God's book of life (Psalm 139:16). And I feel like this little verse in Matthew 1:20 is for all of us, And while we're considering the things in our life we'd like to forget because it hurts, or we're ashamed, or it embarrasses us, God says, BEHOLD, I'm going to do something huge with this! Our job right now is to trust God with the details, just like Joseph did. Did you notice the first thing the angel said to Joseph? "Do not be afraid..." We need to trust without fear. We can't truly say we trust God if we hold onto fear in the back of our heads. Okay, God's given this, but if it doesn't last or work out then... That's not faith.
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we can not see. Hebrews 11:1
Faith is being confident in God's plan unfolding in your life. Trusting in every day He has ordained for your life. Being secure in the belief that He will work out all the hills and valleys of your life out for ultimate good, even though He may not tell you the outline of His plan. It's accepting what He's placed on your plate without a having a contingency backup plan.
So when you feel like me and you're afraid to trust God with complete abandon, recall the angel that appeared to Joseph, and his words, "(Your name), child of Christ, Do not fear..." to take these next steps!

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