I sat on the porch reading my Bible this morning. I was so excited to flip the pages and begin reading the New Testament. You see, TWO YEARS ago Lee and I made a commitment to read through the Bible. Yes, I know this can be done faster... but we decided to go at our own pace. Honestly, the "read the Bible in year" plans stress me out because if I miss a day or get behind on the schedule, I tend to focus more on catching up than on what God is trying to teach me.
So... slowly but surely we are on this journey through the Word.
Lee is a few books behind me, but not far :)
I only made it one chapter this morning and I just HAD to start writing.
Matthew chapter 1
Mary is pregnant. Joseph is not the father. Joseph decides to divorce Mary quietly so that she would not be stoned. He thought this was the best option.
Then God intercedes. Sends an angel that tells Joseph to MARRY HER!
Matthew 1:24 "When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the LORD had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife."
Joseph knew that doing this would not be socially accepted. Joseph knew that people would question his righteousness. This would make him look "guilty" of impregnating Mary before marriage. Life would never be the same if he chose this road.
Joseph had a fork in the road.
I began drawing the above forks.
Divorce Mary OR Marry her
Please the world OR Obey God
Protect your social status OR Forfeit your social status for true righteousness
Joseph heard a word from the LORD. Not just an "I think that's what God said, but an I KNOW THAT'S WHAT GOD SAID." Joseph had a choice to make. This was a much bigger choice than he probably realized at the time. After all, he would adopt and father THE CHRIST. Jesus wasn't Joseph's blood relative, but God was asking Joseph to be the earthly father to Jesus.
Praise God Joseph took the road less traveled.
Joseph said "yes" to God. He laid his own life down for the Lord in that moment. His future. His dreams. His idea of what life would look like. He laid it down.
I am sure that people mocked Joseph, told him he was crazy, that he was ruining his life and his future family's life. I am sure the criticism flew in faster than Joseph could blink.
That still, small voice of God probably encouraged him daily, "keep stepping forward Joseph, I am here, keep pressing on."
Joseph had the privilege of being the earthly father to his heavenly King. Joseph could have missed that opportunity with one small "no."
I cried during the cartoon movie "UP" yesterday. Many of you have probably seen it. The little old man misses his deceased wife. He begins looking through a photo album of their life together as he sits next to her empty chair. Photo after photo of their life. They had some great times. And at the end of the book, below a picture of them well in age, the wife signed the book:
"Thanks for the adventure.
Now go start a new one.
I love you."
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of a husband like Joseph. A man who is willing to say "yes" to You at the risk of being rejected by friends, family and society at large. Thank you, Lord, for placing Lee and I at a fork in the road very similar to Joseph's, and for giving us courage and strength to take the road less traveled. The criticism and rejection have come. The emotional blows have hurt. People have called us crazy and told us we were ruining our lives and our kids' lives.
They cannot hear the still, small voice that whispers to us "keep pressing on kids."
I wonder if at the end of it all... Mary and Joseph sat drinking their coffee, reminiscing about life when one of them looked up and said "I'd choose to do it all over again. Thanks for the adventure."
I recently had a pivotal moment. It came after our garage sale. Prior to the sale I was struggling emotionally. I blogged about it a while back. Worry. Fear. Doubt. God answered, as He always does.
The night after the sale, Lee, Miller and I were eating at Corner Bakery. I looked at Lee and said, "You know? I choose THIS life every time."
"What?" Lee replied.
"Every time I am tempted to think that it would just be easier to please the world and fit in with society?"
"Every time, I choose THIS life. Never once is my heart content to choose the other."
I want to sit on the porch with Lee one day... Heads full of white/silver hair... Drinking coffee and reminiscing about life. I want to remember to tell him:
"Thanks for the adventure. Now let's start a new one."