Life is full of troubles. Just because its Christmas doesn’t mean we are safe from the trials and tribulations the world throws at us. We still deal with the car breaking down, a mishap in the kitchen that ruins Christmas dinner, the important gift that was broken during shipping, the flu, or delayed flights.
Of course there are other, more serious, trials as well: illness, loss of a loved one, divorce, losing a job, or even losing a home.
Life is hard. The great theologian Rocky Balboa 🙂 dispenses some pretty good wisdom in the 6th installment of the series (entitled Rocky Balboa), “it’s not about how hard you hit but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward”. Some of us are getting ‘hit’ pretty hard this Christmas.
One of the background stories of Christmas we tend to overlook is that of Mary’s fiancée Joseph. He’s having a tough Christmas isn’t he? He finds out that his beloved is PREGNANT… and not by him. Yikes! And the fact that they are already promised to each other in marriage makes this a real mess. If he divorces her… he subjects himself to great embarrassment and her to public shame and probably death by stoning. If he marries her… he pretty much has to swallow all the doubt and illegitimacy that will cast a shadow on his reputation, her fidelity, and their future family.
Joseph is getting ‘hit’ hard. But, as often is the case, God is at work in the rough spots of life. Here’s what happens:
Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:19-21)
Sometimes God is doing a bigger thing in our lives than we can ever dream up. Sometimes, in the process, we face the hard ‘hits’ of life. God doesn’t protect us from getting hit… God DOES give us the strength to keep moving forward no matter how hard the hit.
Joseph took Mary to be his wife and helped raise Jesus and took his place as one of the heroes of the faith.
This Christmas some of us may be taking some hard hits. The Christmas story reminds us that God is doing something bigger… do not be afraid!