In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. ... And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with Child. (Luke 2:1, 3-5)
It reminds me of a giant chessboard—the people moving across the Roman Empire at the bidding of an emperor they had never seen, but who still held the power to turn their lives upside down. Who among them would have realized that the emperor himself was a pawn—God's tool for getting His unborn Son to Bethlehem to be born?
But he was. Whether Augustus knew it or not, he was not the most important person in that story. He lived and died without ever realizing that there was a new Person among his subjects—God Himself, born into the human family. Imagine missing that!
It's easy for us to miss what God is doing in our lives, too. That's okay—God doesn't always announce what He's up to. It might be years later before you see God's hand in the events that are happening to you right now.
Then what should we be doing? The same thing Joseph did—handling the daily duties that God puts in front of us, even if it's something as boring as tax registration. God will take care of the big picture. As for us, our eyes are on Jesus our Savior. He is our Shepherd, and He will lead us where God wants us to be. After all, He is the One who loves us enough to live, die, and rise for us!
THE PRAYER: Lord, when I can't see what You are doing with my life, help me to trust You to lead me. Amen.
* Do you feel a strong need to understand what's going on all the time, or not?
* What do you do when your life is upside down and you can't tell what God is planning?
* Tell about a time when you didn't see God's hand at work, but looking back, you can see His care for you.
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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