But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, "Rise, take the Child and His mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the Child's life are dead." And he rose and took the Child and His mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth. (Matthew 2:19-23a)
Mary and Joseph must have wondered what was coming next. Oh, they knew how the story was supposed to end—with Jesus on the throne of David, ruling a redeemed creation. But how to get there from a life as refugees in Egypt? That wasn't so clear.
God showed them the way—but not ahead of time, as they probably wanted. God treats us this way, too. There are questions we desperately want answers to—"Will I get married?" "Will we have a baby?" "Will this illness end in death?" But though God knows, He hardly ever tells us until the time comes.
What questions does He answer, then? He answers the big ones: "Do I matter to God?" Yes, so much that He was born into this world for you. "Who can help me right now?" The Lord will be your help and strength. "Am I loved?" Yes, the wounds in Jesus' hands and side will always make this clear.
THE PRAYER: Lord, help me to trust in You when I don't see my way clear. Amen.
* When has your life gone in an unexpected direction?
* What do you do when you don't know what to do?
* Looking back over your life, where do you see God guiding you?
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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