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.