(More from Dr. Anne Halley)
Joseph was in line to be a high priest. Boy, was he in for a surprise!
He had spent years in preparation for this responsibility of leadership and this incredible, sobering news about the woman he was betrothed to shattered his life dream.
He faced a huge dilemma when he found out about Mary being pregnant. There was disgrace in both Joseph and Mary’s futures. Living life quietly in preparation for the birth of their son would have been difficult back then. I’m sure they were the talk of the town.
Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. Matthew 1.19
His entire future changed in a second and although he did not want to disgrace Mary, his first thought was to resist his circumstances.
What was Joseph feeling? Angry? Disappointed? Ashamed? Misunderstood? What about his reputation?
I get it. Wouldn’t a quiet divorce be a tempting resolution to this situation?
How would I react?
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. Matthew 1.20,21
That’s quite an announcement . . and from an angel, no less! Quite the dream for Joseph.
How did he feel when he woke up? In those lucid moments, what could he have possibly been thinking? What would have happened if he had simply reacted with, “No big deal. That was just a dream.”
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. Matthew 1. 24
Dr. Anne Halley shard these wise words with us – “Obedience is not constraint. It’s loving, attentive listening.” Joseph obeyed. He listened to God for Mary and his child. Those must have been very pensive months for him. Humbling and lonely.
Joseph became the confident, humbled and loving man he was by being with God.
Am I willing to give up what is most comfortable?
Do I attentively listen to and watch for God’s hand in my life?
How do I reach for power and value, rather than tender mercy and grace?
Do I listen for the sake of others?
Do I partner with the Holy Spirit in the creation of another?
I want my inner soul to recognize the language of God.
I want to surrender to love.