I have been doing a study during this season of advent. It has been such a sweet time to reflect, think about my Savior's birth, and in general, prepare my heart for what really matters during this busy season. As I was studying yesterday and this morning, my thoughts were consumed with thinking about Mary and Joseph.
We often think about Mary and put ourselves in her shoes during this time. We should. What an incredible woman, or should I say girl. Because, she was. She was just a girl when Jesus was born. She was a girl who had to grow up pretty quickly. As I started thinking about her, I listed many attributes and feelings she must have had after that startling visit from the angel. She must have been really confused and scared. Here she was, engaged but not married yet. She was a young girl who was told she was going to have a baby. She had to have been worried about what her future husband would say. A million thoughts must have entered her mind. She probably immediately figured she would be raising this child alone and experiencing childbirth alone. Surely Joseph would never believe that an angel came and told her that "the Holy Spirit would come upon her and the power of the Most High would overshadow her." (Luke 1:35)
Mary had to be worried and full of questions. But....she said, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said." (Luke 1:38) What a response. Mary was willing. Mary trusted, and trusted pretty quickly if you ask me. I don't know that I could have trusted as easily without getting some answers. I would have needed more details. But Mary didn't. She was strong and obedient.
But what about Joseph? We put a good bit of emphasis on Mary but Joseph deserves some attention as well. Joseph finds out that his fiance is pregnant and knows that he is not the father. Surely he was heartbroken, worried, frustrated, and probably angry. He was probably confused and had lots of questions. It says, "Because Joseph was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly." (Matthew 1:20) Wow. Joseph could have chosen to handle this situation a million other ways. But, he was considerate of Mary. He cared for her and was looking out for her. He had grace and was merciful. Then the angel came to him and he listened. He decided to trust. He didn't have to be. He could've been done with this crazy situation and walked away. But, he didn't. He trusted and put his feelings aside.
The story was obviously ordained by God. Mary and Joseph were chosen for one of the greatest blessings. They chose, by God's grace, to be obedient and to trust their Father. This is such a testimony to me. As I put myself in both Mary and Joseph's shoes, I am not sure I could have been so willing. I am not sure I would have responded as they did. I pray that I can be willing vessels like Mary and Joseph. I pray that I will choose to trust when I don't always know the outcome.
I was reading something by John Piper that said,
"From the very beginning of Christ's incarnation the Holy Spirit was quietly doing what needed to be done to put forward Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of man."
I was challenged to put my own name in that phrase......"From the time she wakes up, Laura is quietly doing what needs to be done to put forward Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of man."
I want to be doing all that I can do to put Jesus forward. I want to show others by the way that I live that He is the Savior of the world. I think Mary and Joseph, in their obedience and willingness, demonstrated this. What a testimony. What a privilege we have to carry His name. May He be glorified in my life and may others see Him when they see me.