Will you follow if there isn’t a shiny, red bow?


So often one sentence in God’s Word can carry such an impact that I think about it for days.

Matthew 1:20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”

What Holy Spirit conceived in Mary was supernatural.  It didn’t make sense to the human mind.  It didn’t fit into their “culture”.  For Joseph, it brought shame and embarrassment.  It bumped hard up against his pride and perceived identity.  It was the greatest gift ever given, however I wonder if to Mary and Joseph it felt less like a gift and more like a burden, a catastrophe?

This is faith.  This is where we choose to believe that God IS good and He has good and perfect plans for us, plans not to harm us but to give us a hope and a future.  When our “gifts” don’t show up with a shiny red bow and ornate wrapping with promises of wealth, health, and prosperity, do we still choose to believe in God’s goodness?

What about when those gifts show up at a less than opportune time?  Mary and Joseph were going to be married soon.  It was a time in their life where they were looking to the future and planning what would be for them as they began life together.  This was not in their script!  Not only was this not in the plans, but it was unimaginable.  Almost unbelievable.

But they were willing to obey…

Joseph had a choice to make.  Who has ever heard of such a thing?  I’m sure, just because of the period this was in history, that there weren’t a lot of people receiving messages from angels in Joseph’s hometown.  As a matter of fact, God hadn’t spoken to His people in about four hundred years.  Joseph could have attributed this angelic visitation to a pizza dream!  He could have recognized it for what it was, yet still chose to disobey.  He could have chosen fear.

What is God trying to conceive through you?  Remember, what He did thru Mary was not an ideal, perfect situation.  They were possibly looked down upon by everyone, the “talk of the town”, I’m sure.  They probably didn’t understand.  This gift caused them to be in dangerous situations.  BUT OUR SAVIOR was brought forth.

Again, I ask, what is God trying to conceive through you?  What ideas or plans, what gifts and anointing has He placed in your life?

If it doesn’t look or feel easy, will you trust Him and move forward as He faithfully guides?  Can you cleave to Jesus, knowing He will never leave nor forsake you, and rely on Him and the plans that were put in place for you long ago when He knit you together in your mother’s womb?

Prayer:  Father, I trust you always.  I trust your plans and I know that you are always for me.  I give you free-rein in my life; you are my Father, my King, my Savior.  I surrender my will, my whole life to you right now.  Your ways and your thoughts are higher than anything and I will not lean on my own understanding.  I will trust you always.  Thank you my Lord for the blessings in my life, for Your Presence, your guidance, your love.  Amen.

For the joy set before Him…


I love how our Lord is always there with us, even during a middle-of-the-night bathroom trip!

I woke up a bit sore and stiff. Maybe I AM getting a bit older, ha!  Maybe I was lying in an odd position for too long. Maybe a change in the weather was on the horizon… who knows?!  I got up and did the “my legs and hips hurt” shuffle all the way to the bathroom.

Confession time:  moments like these make me angry!  I could list a myriad of reasons all the way from self-pity to hatred of the devil. I was not about to accept this pain this night!!  I literally wanted to swing my fists at something, as if connecting with a physical enemy might fix a possible spiritual problem.

On my way back to the warmth and comfort of my bed, I asked Jesus how He didn’t get mad as He was carrying the tree He was about to be crucified on up the steep hill of Golgotha.  After all He had recently endured, how did He not lash out and begin swinging His fists and screaming at those watching and those causing Him pain? Continue reading “For the joy set before Him…”