We all have doubts, right?
Doubts about what God is doing through this pandemic.
Doubts about who you’re going to marry.
Doubts about which career path is best for you after college.
Doubts about the quality of life your children will have.
Doubt is something that is common to all of us. And that extends throughout history.
As we heard a few days ago from Rachel Carter, Mary and Joseph were facing some serious circumstances. An angel had appeared to both of them and said you will have a child by the Holy Spirit. No, the child wasn’t going to be Joseph’s. In Scripture, we see each of their immediate responses of obedience to what God had put in their lives to do.
However, I want us to think about the next day…the next month…the next nine months.
Put yourself in their shoes, or in the shoes of one of their family members. Can you imagine the questions they got and what doubts they wrestled with? In their cultural context, it was highly looked down upon to be pregnant before marriage and most often resulted in great shame and disgrace to the people and the family.
I firmly believe that the next day—perhaps the next hour—after they were told of Mary being pregnant with Jesus, that they had serious doubts about how or whether to go through with it. In Matthew 1, we see the doubt creep into Joseph’s heart and mind. Scripture says he had already planned to divorce Mary because of this. At this point, fear and doubt were to be at the front of his mind. He was afraid of what could happen to him and her if they went through with this. But, the angel appeared to Joseph he said, “Do not fear to take Mary as your wife.” He needed to have faith despite his fear and doubt.
We don’t often think about this side of the story, do we? Over 2,000 years on the other side of this story, we sing our songs, give our gifts, and try to make the Christmas season as perfect as possible. But, here is the thing, Christmas has never been perfect. The very first Christmas started out in perhaps the most imperfect way. An out-of-marriage pregnancy with the birth of the child taking place in smelly, unsanitary barn around a bunch of animals.
Far from perfect.
You see, Mary and Joseph were just like you and me—human. They weren’t supernatural. They were sinful, broken people that God decided to use to bring Jesus into this world. God set into motion an incredible story that He wanted to write for the sake of the world, and He chose two Jewish teenagers to help kick it all off. God was asking Mary and Joseph to replace the fear they surely experienced with faith in what God was doing.
I don’t know what God has put into your life right now. It may be overwhelming. Sometimes life is overwhelming, but this is when God shows up. When He puts something into motion, He is faithful to see it to a good completion. Not perfect, but good.
Jesus’ entry to the world required a huge amount of faith. Mary and Joseph had it. But, I believe, there were times when they didn’t, yet God still used them. God fulfilled his promise to them, and the hope of all mankind was born.
2 Timothy 2:13 says “if we are faithless, He is faithful.” God is faithful. So often, when we don’t see the outcome or have no clue what is coming next in life, that is when God desires our trust the most. Faith comes in what we can’t see. God is asking you for faith in him to trust that he is writing a story that is greater than you could ask or imagine.