“Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.””
In our minds we view the Bible as this majestic book filled with amazing and beautiful stories, which is true. At the same time, we often forget how difficult it must have been for all those “heroes of the Bible” God called to be a part of this story. The farther I walk with Jesus, the more I realize the characters within the stories of my childhood Sunday school class were real people just like you and me. The people called by God written about in the Word felt the same emotions we feel today and faced the exact same fears we encounter. They loved, lost, and doubted God would ever be able to use them in His story.
With the passing of Christmas I always reflect on Mary and Joseph’s story. We assume Mary was a young teenage girl at the time of Jesus’ birth. She had her whole life ahead of her. She was planning a wedding to Joseph and it was a time of great anticipation and celebration. Everything the world and her culture told her was right was taking place until God intervened. Isn’t this where life gets messy and scary for all of us? When we have this perfect plan all mapped out and God says, “No, I have something completely different in mind. I want you to do what I say and trust me even though this goes against everything you thought you wanted.” This is where the huge sigh takes place. I can’t help but believe Mary had this kind of moment. She was obedient when an angel explained to her that she would be with child and give birth to the Savior of the world. But I have to think it doesn’t mean she was always excited about it or without fear.
And don’t forget poor Joseph. Again, a person with a plan. He had been betrothed to a fine young woman and they would soon begin a life together. Or at least that was his plan. Unfortunately after visiting Mary he finds out she is pregnant and he knows the child does not belong to him. Can you imagine the hurt and the betrayal he must have felt? Remember, these were real people just like you and me. Think about your finance informing you that she is pregnant by the Holy Spirit right before your wedding! But, as God always does He spoke to Joseph in a dream and assured him that Mary was telling the truth and asked him to be obedient as well. Joseph did as God instructed and in the midst of great confusion and fear took Mary as his wife and raised Jesus as his son.
God continues to ask His people to do incredibly difficult things for Him today, but when we are obedient He never leaves nor forsakes us. He never left Mary and Joseph. He watched over them and always provided. He does the same for us when we are in His will and following His instructions. The doubt and fear is real as it was for the people of the Christmas Story. Knowing this gives my heart consolation for if I only trust and give my fears and doubts to Him, supernatural things will take place and I will be blessed by being a part of His next story.
Publisher Note: Jessica Daly is a native of Wayne County and currently resides in the Lynchburg, Va. She is a graduate of Eastern Wayne High School and East Carolina University where she has earned a BS in elementary education as well as her Master’s Degree in Library Science. Jessica is married to Brian Daly, a native of Wayne County for 14 years and they share a daughter, Taylor who is 11 years old. Jessica began My Daly Outreach Ministries, a ministry dedicated to caregivers, in January 2011. The ministry consists of an online website, www.mydalyoutreach.com, a published book entitled “Brian’s Update” and inspirational speaking across the country bringing awareness to forgotten caregivers. Jessica is now a Research Librarian at Liberty University.