He collapsed into bed, the day’s events leaving him in confusion and brokenness- “Did I mistake God’s voice for my own choice when I favored her above the rest?”
Earlier that day, Mary, freshly home from visiting a distant relative, asked if she could speak to Joseph privately. His heart beat a little faster as he hurried to her home.
While they walked together, she relayed all Gabriel had said to her prior to her sudden departure, knowing what he foretold had already come to pass.
Joseph’s mind reeled. “Perhaps she was abused and so ashamed she felt this facade was her only option or was it a cover?”
Full of confusion, doubt and heartbreak, Joseph questioned every choice leading to this moment. He was so sure– her virtue, purity and love for her Lord left him without question, so he thought.
They were a perfect match, until this moment.
Joseph was in the predicament of the century with humanity’s salvation hanging in the balance.
Joseph, clearly distraught by the news, walked Mary home in silence. His reaction, though fully expected, left Mary fearful of confessing the events to her parents without Joseph’s support.
Her parents were dumbfounded—ashamed and afraid jointly. After chiding Mary for such a falsehood, they turned to Joseph, knowing his rights as her fiancé.
Joseph could have her stoned by Jewish law with Rome’s approval, but he had already determined he could not injure the girl of his dreams.
He would divorce her quietly, sparing her life, although he could do nothing for her dignity. Disgraced as a single young woman with a child, she would forever endure shame, destitution and even danger.
Anguish and tenderness welled up simultaneously in Joseph’s throat.
After a brief discussion with her parents, he slipped away into the depths of his own grief.
That night, he finally fell into a fitful sleep.
“Joseph, son of David,”
He stirred restlessly.
“Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Mat.1:20-21)
He awoke with a start, knowing this was nothing his imagination could conjure, even in his dreams.
Both joy and grief flooded his soul just as Gabriel’s light flooded his room; he could not wait to beg Mary’s forgiveness.
“Mary! ‘And she will have a son, and you are to name Him Jesus.’”
“Joseph! How did you know?”
After a brief embrace, they discussed matters in the shadows, a place they would become very familiar with. He would marry her quietly, and she would remain pure until after the birth.
Joseph had Gabriel’s intervention, but what do we have to clear the confusion in the chaos of our circumstances?
I have seen a counselor regularly for years; she has both confronted and comforted me with the truths from God’s Word.
And, we have a WONDERFUL Counselor who offers us infinitely more!
He will give when we ask, seek and knock (Mat.7:7), He will answer, telling us great and mighty things (Jer.33:3), and will give generously when we ask for wisdom (Jas.1:5).
Yet, when confused and weary, we forget we have an enemy who…
So we find ourselves in the dark. But we can step into the light when we take the first step toward Jesus. He promises-
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” Psa. 32:8
We’re not told whether Joseph called out to God that devastating day, but knowing he was God’s choice of father to His Son, I believe he did… and the angel was sent in response.
Where do you need clarity to abate confusion?
We have a Wonderful Counselor who desires to give the good gifts of wisdom, understanding, discernment and direction.
Clarity comes in confusion when we connect intimately with Christ.
Lean in, listen, linger and long for Him. Dream with and delight in Him.
Joseph’s path was not easy, but he trusted the Lord with his dreams that night. Won’t you?
Dream a dream so big that unless God intervenes it will fail. Hudson Taylor
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psl.37:4
*Photos courtesy of The Nativity Story movie and pexels.com