“But while he [Joseph] thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit…'” – Matthew 1:20
Yesterday as I read my She Reads Truth devotional (an amazing devotional website I encourage you to check out!), God spoke to me through the following excerpt: “But the angel’s message did not come without consequence for Mary and Joseph. It would lead these two young people to live as fugitives for a time, fleeing from the paranoia of a ruthless and powerful Roman ruler. And on top of all that, as her belly expanded, Mary and Joseph would have to endure the suspicious looks of friends and relatives who couldn’t help questioning her purity and his character” (find it here).
These past several months God has continually written upon my heart an important truth: His ways are not my ways. In fact, sometimes His ways cause us to walk a road apparently opposite to the one He promised us. Sometimes God’s most perfect plan requires His child to walk through the deepest valley. And as I have personally walked some painful roads, God has faithfully shown me it is not until one experiences utter darkness that one can fully appreciate the tiniest glimmer of light. If I want to run a stronger race on the flat roads, I must train on the hills.
Mary and Joseph were godly people. Joseph was referred to as a just man and continually obeyed all the Lord told him to do. The angel Gabriel actually greeted Mary with “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” (Luke 1:28) She was told she had found favor with God and would give birth to the Savior of the world!
Yet these two godly people were misunderstood. Their hearts were pure, but God’s plan for them led them to be perceived as just the opposite. I know in today’s society the shock factor of a pregnancy prior to marriage has been unfortunately greatly lessened, and in some places not even out of the ordinary. But 2000 years ago, this was not only a major faux pas, but also a supposed indication of ungodliness. God chose to take two godly people to bring about His Son, yet in doing so, they appeared ungodly to the world.
God has shown me over and over again, He always has a plan and a purpose, even if the world does not understand. He always has a plan and a purpose even if we do not understand. “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us” (2 Corinthians 1:20).
So as you walk out God’s plan for your life, remember this: “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24) Yes, not everyone, not even you, will always understand the how and the why of everything we experience. And yes, there will always be well-meaning people who unknowingly judge what they see through human eyes instead of spiritual eyes. Nevertheless, what people believe will not alter God’s plan for you, and it will never change His love for you. God loves you and has a plan for you. So walk it out with confidence, even if for a little while you must endure a few strange looks from those who do not know you like God knows you.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” – Hebrews 10:23