“I’m sure he must have been surprised at where this road had taken him
Cause never in a million lives would he have dreamed of Bethlehem
And standing at the manger he saw with his own eyes
The message from the angel come to life
And Joseph said:
Why me, I’m just a simple man of trade?
Why Him with all the rulers in the world?
Why here inside this stable filled with hay?
Why her, she’s just an ordinary girl?
Now I’m not one to second guess what angels have to say, but this is such a strange way to save the World.”
“A Strange Way to Save the World” by 4Him is one of my favorite Christmas songs. Maybe it’s because I can relate to Joseph and his confusion so much. Let’s face it; God does a lot of things that just don’t make sense to us.
He Himself said as much in Isaiah chapter 55:8-9:
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Joseph had to be puzzled by what was going on and the part he played in it, but he is an example to us because of his obedience despite his lack of understanding. Most of the time, God doesn’t ask us to understand; He asks us to obey.
“Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.” ~ Deuteronomy 30:11-14
It’s easy to use our perceived lack of qualifications as an excuse to ignore God’s call. I’m sure Joseph and Mary both felt totally unqualified to be raising God’s Son. I know I feel totally unqualified to do most of the things God calls me to do. Honestly, that’s because I am unqualified to do most of the things God calls me to, at least in my eyes and in the eyes of the world. But perhaps God calls me to do these things because I look unqualified. That way there’s no mistaking Who is making it happen and Who should get the credit.
Today I read this from Oswald Chambers: “We talk as if living a sanctified life were the most uncertain and insecure thing we could do. Yet is the most secure thing possible, because it has Almighty God in and behind it. The most dangerous and unsure thing is to try to live without God.”
As usual, we have it backwards. We’re afraid to go to the unfamiliar where God is calling us and feel perfectly safe trying to figure things out for ourselves. Yet the only true safety comes from our obedience.
Father, I thank you for all the examples you give us of the blessings that come from obedience and the consequences that stem from disobedience. Most of all, I thank you for the gift of your Son Jesus, who not only led an exemplary life for us to follow, but gave us something we could never achieve on our own: salvation and an eternity with you. Help me to step out in faith, follow Jesus’ example and be more like Him. Happy Birthday Jesus! Love, Lisa