But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 1:20)
Why does God wait so long to let Joseph in on the secret? He doesn't tell him when Mary finds out; He doesn't even spare him the painful scene when he learns that Mary is pregnant. Joseph goes through that meeting and hours of pain afterward, trying to think what to do now.
But when he finally falls asleep—and how long did that take?—then finally God tells him. "The baby is from the Holy Spirit. Mary hasn't been unfaithful to you. Go ahead and get married, everything is okay."
I'm sure Joseph was grateful. I wonder if he was a bit frustrated?
Maybe not. Joseph is doubtless a better person than I am! But I admit I've been frustrated when God seems to leave me in anxiety. "Oh, thank God, it's not cancer," I think. And then I'm cranky because the scare happened at all.
Still, it comforts me to see that God hasn't changed. If He does it to me, He did it to people in the Bible, too. I'm certain He loved them, and I believe He loves me—and so I can trust Him for what I don't understand.
Jesus Himself is the absolute proof that God loves us—because He came to suffer on our behalf, so that we might live with God forever. When it was a choice between our suffering or His, He said, "Let it be Me." A God who accepts the cross and empty tomb on my behalf is a God I can trust—and love.
WE PRAY: Lord, I trust You. Help me to trust You more. Amen.
* Do you ever get frustrated with God?
* If so, when?
* How do you trust God in the face of things you don't understand?
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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