Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Luke #18 – To it and Through it

Luke #18 – To it and Through it

“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:4-7 – King James Version).

When God called me into the ministry I knew I had to enter the arena of higher education. I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t want to quit working; I liked that paycheck. I didn’t want to struggle through school. Plus I wasn’t sure that I was smart enough to perform in school. I’d only been married a year and a half to the day when I surrendered to the call. Literally days later, Care and I were blessed to find out that God was giving us our first child. We needed a bigger and warmer house. All of these things and more swirled in my rational yet simple mind. I constantly asked myself and the Lord “What am I doing?!?” From somewhere (and I honestly cannot remember the source, but I want to say it was Johnny Smith) God gave me this phrase: “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.” It penetrated my heart!

As Joseph and Mary began their great adventure of traveling from Nazareth to Bethlehem they must have been thinking this same thing. They were dealing with primitive traveling methods and Mary was in the delicate state of pregnancy. How could they do it?

Mary and Joseph arrive at their destination only to find no suitable temporary lodging. Their place of rest amounted to what is equal to an animal barn. How could they stay in a place like that knowing that they she carried the Son of God in her womb?

Before Mary and Joseph left Nazareth I am sure they faced much public scrutiny. Imagine their situation: a young girl claiming she was pregnant in a virginal state; a man deciding to marry that young girl in spite of her pregnant state. I believe it was through these kinds of experiences that they learned to trust the ways and plans of God. It was as they trusted and followed God moment to moment that strength was built into them. It was as they followed God minute to minute that their faith was built up. By the time they were ordered to leave their home and travel to Bethlehem they KNEW that God would take care of them. So…Mary was “great with child”…big deal, God is just plain great!

I see the simple yet powerful hand of God in this. It is encouragement for us all. Whether it is a difficult physical or spiritual trial God is there. As we look back over the months and years that we walk with the Lord I would imagine that all of can find some evidence that God has been building us in a fashion that prepared us for more and more difficult trials. By the time we get to a very difficult situation we know how God has worked in the past in our lives. We first LEARN that whatever God brings us to He will bring us through. THEN we KNOW that! Once we know it we can live fearless lives that do not let circumstances overwhelm us.

I don’t know what you may be facing today but it cannot be any more severe than being a pregnant virgin traveling under difficult circumstances. I do not say that to belittle your circumstances. I simply say it to remind us all that whatever God brings us to He will be certain to bring us through. Know that…live wide open for God!

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