Upon hearing the news of Mary`s unexpected pregnancy, Joseph must have felt very hurt and confused. The Bible describes him as a good man, and he surely must have had different dreams for the two of them. The Bible doesn`t describe his initial reaction upon hearing the news, but we do know that he didn`t take his feelings of disappointment out on Mary. He didn`t react in anger, but chose to `think this over`.
It was during this time that the angel of the Lord appeared to him and confirmed what Mary had told him. Without the Lord`s intervention, it would have been very difficult to explain Mary`s pregnancy. If Joseph had reacted in anger and gone public with Mary`s pregnancy, the result would probably have been Mary`s actual death.
Joseph had planned to quietly break off the engagement, but with God in the picture his shattered dreams were suddenly filled with hope and promise. It was enough for God to encourage him to go ahead and marry Mary. He honoured Mary, and never again do we read about him doubting. Once the Lord gave him his instructions he obeyed, without questioning the Lord.
This story could have ended very differently if Joseph had burst out in anger and disappointment. He could have accused Mary of not being truthful, and he could have humiliated her by exposing her pregnancy. The repercussions would have been devastating. This is probably how people would have expected him to react, but Joseph chose to follow the Lord`s guidance and not other people`s ideas.
How do we react when we`re rejected, hurt, wrongfully accused, or even just frustrated with the outcome of a situation? What goes through our minds when our expectations are shattered and everything just seems to be going wrong? Or when we`re stuck in traffic and our patience is being stretched? We can either lash out in anger, or we can allow the Lord to intervene and guide us in how to handle the situation.
Giving the Lord time to intervene also allows for us to make a better assessment of a situation. Let`s follow Joseph`s example of a thoughtful approach when faced with challenges in our daily lives, and allow time for the Lord`s direction and guidance.
Prayer: Dear Lord, there are so many times when I`ve reacted impulsively and ended up hurting people with my words and attitudes. Please forgive me. Help me to learn how to wait on You, and to rather share my thoughts and emotions with You before I say hurtful things to others. I trust You to guide me through all the disappointments and frustrations in my life and to fill them with hope and promise. Amen.
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