My husband was talking during worship this morning about Mary and Joseph, and said something so profound that I just have to share it.
God planned for Mary to give birth to his son Jesus. He orchestrated it many centuries before she was born, and he knew exactly how it would occur. He knew that Mary would be unmarried, and how extremely shameful and embarrassing pregnancy would be for her. He knew that she would be from Nazareth, but would have her baby in Bethlehem. He knew that they would need to flee to Egypt in order to escape a murderous king. God knew exactly how things were going to happen. It was his Plan.
So why did God make it so hard? Why did Joseph have to doubt his betrothed wife? He was thinking about arranging a quiet divorce until the angel showed up to reassure him. Why did Mary have to take an extremely uncomfortable trip to Bethlehem when she was near her delivery time? Why in the world did God not at least arrange decent accommodations for her to give birth, rather than having to bed down with the animals? After all, HE had certainly had plenty of time to arrange it.
We have to step out of our comfortable American Christian mindset for a moment and think about it.
How many times do we look around when things get difficult and wonder if we are really within God’s will? Why do we expect that he will make things work smoothly and easily just because we’re obeying him? All through Scripture there are people who suffer terrible things, yet continue to glorify God and trust him.
God doesn’t promise to make the path easy. He only promises to go with us. And when you think about it, which really is the easier choice? The smooth path without God or the difficult path with Him?
It’s not even a fair question, is it?
Don’t doubt Him–just keep walking!