Glorious Hard Times

Friday, December 10, 2021
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Angels We Have Heard On High"1 (Lyrics)

1 Corinthians 13:12b – All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. (NLT)

Hebrews 10:35-36 – So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. (NLT)

Pregnant with our last child, I begged my husband to stop sending the Unwed Mother Worker from her job with Children's Aid to visit me whenever she was near the tiny village where we lived temporarily. My husband was her boss, so she had no say in the matter.

"Look, everyone knows her car, even her license plate number. She's hardly anonymous, and when she visits, they all know what that means!" I argued. "We're new here, and I haven't been able to make any friends, due to what they're all thinking." We'd been married several years by then, but we moved all the time for numerous financial reasons.

"The baby's overdue," he would remind me patiently, "and I'm at the agency with our car. So, it only makes sense for her to stop by and check on you."

I didn't care. These were the bad old days when people actually hid pregnancies before marriage, often taking the baby away, offering it up for adoption or placing it in an orphanage, due to being born out of wedlock. Now, of course, such births are proudly announced all over social media, even omitting the name of the father.

What did I have to do — blow up a copy of our marriage certificate, with the date prominent, and post it in one of our windows?

Even with the angel's supporting visit, Mary surely suffered as an unwed mother, with the neighbours keeping track of whether or not Joseph stayed overnight. If there were such a job back then, the Unwed Mother Worker would have visited. Yes, even with the honour of being chosen to bear God's Son, Joseph and Mary were an ordinary couple, no different than the rest of us, nor was the task that they were asked to do an easy one.

As believers today, God also chooses you and me for wonderful things, accepting that we may never know, this side of heaven, why or what the outcome was, as we walk His way through hard times. "Trials make us strong," someone reminds us. The life of a believer is filled with such opportunities.

Living a committed Christian life is a daily, glorious challenge that we are asked to accept. What a joy it is to continue to say "Yes" to every trial that comes to us from our Father's hand.

Prayer: Dear Father, we are so grateful that You know our every weakness and promise Your strength on our journey. Thank You for the story of this ordinary couple, living through hard times in faith, knowing only a heavenly reward, bringing hope and strength to our oft-troubled experience here on earth. How blessed we are to do Your will today. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rose DeShaw <>
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Wonderful. Hopeful. Insightful. Reflective. Thank you.

    Love the story, Rose. Have a great Christmas season.

    Thank you, Rose. Your life is certainly a testimony to God’s faithfulness in trials.

    Thank you for sharing this inclusive devotional with us.

    Thank you. This was just what I needed to help me face the severe limitations of being unvaccinated due to health issues.

    Dear Rose,
    Thank you for this heartwarming and reassuring devotional this day. Blessings for these very warm and meaningful writings you contribute.

    Good writing. Joseph was a trusting man, wasn’t he? He and Mary must have had an understanding relationship. Thank you for this reading and all your others too.

    Oh, Rose – I sit here smiling at the truths in your devotional, pondering the daily trials we face, and being surprised that you were once concerned over what the neighbours might think.
    May this celebration of Christ’s birth fill you with hope and peace, joy, and love.

    Hi Rose,
    Thank you for the devotional and the time you spend preparing them.

    Dear Rose,
    What a wonderful devotional, again. I suspected you were the writer right from the beginning. Your style is so honest and engaging. Can you imagine having a title like Unwed Mother Worker these days?
    Great connection to what things must have been like for Mary! I wish she had written more devotionals (besides the Magnificat) or better still, a book!
    Advent and Christmas blessings to you and yours. I hope you keep writing devotionals.

    Dear Rose,
    A good story on how a husband and wife view the same situation differently both with their own feelings and worries. It is so true that Mary faced criticism and as a couple they had an enormous task ahead of them, but their faith allowed them to accept willingly and face what was ahead. This is a good reminder of a different aspect of the Christmas story which is mostly overlooked.
    May we remember that God is shaping us for his good and those hard times help us to mature and grow in our faith. May you remain joyful and full of peace and love.

    Rose, thank you for your devotional. Yes, social mores have changed, but our Lord has not. I have thought about how difficult Mary’s life with pregnancy must have been for her in her culture and time. I appreciate your writing.

    Oh Rose! What a delightful devotional! And how times have changed!
    Thanks for this “reality check” on what Mary must’ve had to overcome in the ‘hood!
    Maybe that’s why she made the 9-day journey soon after the announcement, to be with her BFF, cousin Elizabeth!
    Thanks for your timely story, very heartening!

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