But after he had considered this (divorcing Mary quietly), 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.
If you are anything like I am, you want to know exactly what the plan is. If you’re going on a trip, you want to squeeze in as much as you can for the itinerary. You want to maximize your experience and have a plan A, B, and C. And a lot of the time, we can’t help but translate that desire into our life plans. We want God to spell it out exactly. We want to know what his will or his dream is for our lives. We think we would love it if he would just give us a roadmap of exactly what is going to happen including every stop along the way. But the truth is, you just think you want to know. Here is the reality, if God were to do what you asked, and tell you every single plan he has and every stop along the way-- it would probably scare you to death. I know it would scare me to death.
In this story, we see Joseph, Jesus’ father, right after he decided he wanted to bail on his marriage. He has a literal dream. And this angel shows up and says, “Don’t be afraid. But you are supposed to be married to Mary and she’s going to have a son named Jesus.”
Your brain may not be crazy like mine, but I just invision this moment. Joseph has had a bomb dropped on him, and the Angel knew it was a big one, because he starts out saying- Don’t be afraid. Now, just imagine if in that same dream the angel had given Joseph every single piece of the big picture? If the angel had laid out the entire plan that God had for humanity? No way could Joseph have processed that. But God allows us to see the pieces we need to see in order to remind us that He is leading us and that his dream really is best.
What do we do when God’s dream for us includes pieces that scare us? How do we say yes when in our natural circumstances it may seem crazy, impossible, or dangerous? Well, we can follow Joseph’s lead- verse 24 says “He did what the angel of the Lord commanded him to do.” And that’s where we need to get to. Even when we are afraid, even when the plan doesn’t make sense, even when we don’t have all the pieces, even when it seems impossible- we do what the Lord has asked us to do.
Prayer: Lord thank you that you have big dreams for my life. Thank you that you let me know what I need to know when I need to know it. Help me to do what you ask of me and help me to remember not to be afraid.