trust in God

Joseph’s Journey

“When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.” Matthew 11:24 NIV

Like everybody who says “yes” to God, Joseph could not begin to comprehend the implications of such a divinely inspired decision. Unknowingly he was signing up to embark on a sacred journey of trust into uncharted territory. Not unlike Bilbo Baggins answering Gandolf’s invitation in The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey, it would take Joseph places he could never have imagined going, both in the natural and more importantly within his own soul. Had he or Bilbo known what the journey held in store, they would probably have stuck with their initial “No.”

Joseph’s acquiescence must have led to great anticipation as he and Mary settled into life together in his home and prepared for the birth of the child. Undoubtedly he was breathing a sigh of relief thinking the “big” decision was now behind him. He was surely enjoying the new found sense of peace and freedom from the recriminations of initially feeling betrayed by Mary.

Answering God’s call ultimately bids us to venture beyond the comforts and predictability of home. And unlike Lot’s wife we had best accept that eventuality right now; as there is no profit in lingering or looking back. Unbeknownst to Joseph, nearly 1500 miles away in Rome, a decree was being issued that would subsequently make its way by courier to his little village of Nazareth at the far eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea.

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There is no path.

We walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)

A number of years ago I was with a group of men and we were seeking God for direction about a critical decision one of the guys had to make. Like most of us he wanted assurance from God that the path he was about to choose to walk would take him safely to where he wanted to go.

As we prayed a man in the group had a vision. The Lord showed him a deep chasm with a primitive rope suspension bridge linking the two sides. The man seeking direction was standing with great trepidation on one precipice poised to begin traversing the narrow bridge. The problem facing him was that there were no wooden slats in the walkway portion of the bridge except for the one slat immediately in front of him upon which to take his first step out over the edge. In the vision the man summoned all the faith he could and stepped onto the first slat. No sooner had he placed his full weight on that slat when immediately a second slat appeared in front of him. As he took a step onto that board and transferred his weight fully to it, another one appeared in front of that one. He was elated. But then he realized that with each step forward onto an appearing slat, the one behind him was disappearing as it fell away.

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The counter intuitive ways of God

I slept in a separate bedroom from my wife last night. No we didn’t have a fight. I am still in radioactive isolation. (See yesterday’s blog Watchout! I’m radioactive!) This was a first. Never in over 40 years of marriage have we slept in separate bedrooms under the same roof. That my friend, is a testimony to the grace of God in being the reconciler in our marriage, and not to any merit of mine.

This whole cancer thing has driven home to me like nothing before the counter intuitive ways of God. (Isaiah 55:9) See If life is short, how should I live? and Do not waste your troubles. God’s economy is the opposite of the world’s. He turns foolishness into wisdom, weakness into strength and what others despise into a treasure. (1 Corinthians 1:25-29)

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