Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Strange Way...

A carpenter.  A man who worked with his hands.  He worked hard in the time before power tools.  He is betrothed to a beautiful, young woman of good reputation.  His future looks bright.  Maybe they will have lots of children and eventually grandchildren.  He will work hard to provide for them and to be a good husband and father.  But, then his world is turned upside down!  His beloved tells him that she is pregnant and he KNOWS that he isn't the father. The betrayal is so strong.  Could he have been such a bad judge of character?  Being the kind man that he is, he will just quietly divorce her.  He doesn't want her to be shamed or even killed as is custom in this day.  Sleep must have come reluctantly after much deliberation.  During his fitful rest, the angel Gabriel makes another appearance(he has been a busy angel).  Matthew 1 states:

20 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. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.”
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

As Joseph began to think about what was told to him, he must have thought, "What a strange way to save the world!  Shouldn't the king come riding in on a horse triumphantly with an army and riches beyond measure?  Why did God choose me?  Isn't there someone much more qualified than I?  I am just a carpenter.  Why Mary?  She is just a young woman.  We are not royalty!  There are many kings and warriors in this world!  Why Bethlehem?  Nothing good comes from Nazareth.  This is just bizarre!"

Do you feel the same?  Are you confused as to why God would use you in the way that God uses you?  What is your calling?  None of us are called to be the parents to the Messiah.  But, we are called to be godly parents, children, spouses, employees, and people.  Are there more qualified people than you to teach Sunday School or write a book?  Is there someone with more talent to sing a song or preach a sermon?  God doesn't always use the people with the best education or skills or talents.  Sometimes, He uses just ordinary people.  People with pasts and who have been hurt.  Oftentimes, those people can best minister to others in similar situations. 

How can God use you?  How is He currently using you?  Can He use something from your past to minister to someone's present or future?  He uses my abortion healing and my high risk pregnancy to help others.  My darkest sins and my most unsure future is exposed to the healing of Christ so that others may be healed.
2 Corinthians 1:4 says:
who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

Father of all, thank You for using us when we feel unusable or unqualified.  You show Your glory the most in that.  Thank You, Lord, for taking these dirty vessels called our lives and cleaning them so that they can be filled with the Living Water.  You could just swoop in and do it for us but where would the learning for us take place?  Thank You for Joseph's uncertainty but solid faith in Your leading.  Help us to have that solid faith!  AMEN 
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