Dec 29, 2007

A Change in Plans

I have some thoughts concerning Mary and Joseph’s flight to Egypt after Jesus was born. Traveling with a newborn certainly wasn’t in their plans. They were just in Bethlehem to register for the census! They probably didn’t even have much with them, because it was going to be a relatively short stay. An angel appears to Joseph in a dream, in the middle of the night, and instructs him to leave Bethlehem immediately (not after daybreak, mind you) and head for Egypt. Talk about dreading late night phone calls! Now the young family was setting off on a long journey that would delay their returning home for several years. Imagine flying to California to sign a few important papers only to be informed that you had to fly to Canada in the middle of the night and then spend several years there. All you had with you was carry on luggage!

God often leads us where we don’t want to go or didn’t plan to go. As humans, our response can range from surprise to irritation to fear to anger. Once again, I am reminded that God is more concerned with my response to events and people rather than what is actually happening. He is building a temple – foundations must be laid, marble chiseled out of the mountain, columns used as supports. He does this by strengthening our character and making us more like his Son. This can only happen as we are obedient to him and malleable in his hands. His promises to walk with us and to never abandon us are our comfort and our joy in the journey, wherever that may lead us.

Holy God, my husband and I are on that journey to Egypt. We don’t know why or where we’re going, but we know it’s an uncharted path for us. Remind me that you are more concerned with my responses each day to events and people rather than my navigation techniques. Just as you didn’t tell Joseph everything that lay ahead for his little family, you have not revealed your plans for us. All you ask is for us to look to you for guidance, direction and strength for each day.

Joseph left his job, tools, resources in Nazareth, not thinking he would need them for the short trip to Bethlehem and back. There was no time to return to Nazareth and collect his tools before heading to Egypt. He had to trust you to provide for the daily food and shelter and clothing. He didn’t have a job waiting for him in Egypt. He would have to find work when he arrived. Lord, this is so applicable to our present situation. Thank you for revealing these promises to me and reassuring me of your presence in every situation.

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