Friday, December 04, 2009

God Moves in a Mysterious Way

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:18-20. ESV.)

Sometimes God takes things in a direction that is hard to understand. Today, Mary entered my mind. I’m not sure if it is because of the season or if it is since her circumstance was difficult to comprehend. I cannot help but wonder what the whole thing looked like to those around her and how she felt having people judge her? Her own husband even intended to divorce her (Matthew 1:19).

I feel Mary’s situation was far more exceptional than any before it or since. However, God’s ways are so confusing, at times, there is even the popular saying, “The Lord works in mysterious ways,” which people seem to like to throw around. Perhaps it comes from the hymn “God Moves in a Mysterious Way” by William Cowper or maybe it is because it truly is not easy to thoroughly understand God’s character this side of heaven. Why was Jonah swallowed by a great fish (Jonah 1:17)? Why was Daniel thrown into the lions’ den (Daniel 6:16-24)? Why was Joseph to be Zaphenath-paneah and his tribulation to last so long (Genesis 37-41)? Why was Moses the one God wanted to lead His people to the land the Lord had promised (Exodus 2-14)? Why did Jesus have to suffer such brutality? (I know He died to save me from my sins however I fail to understand why such cruelty was inflicted upon Him.) Why did John the Baptist have to die? Why are hearts hardened toward the Lord?

Jesus answered him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand." (John 13:7. ESV.)

It is my opinion there are many times in life when “why?” is the first thought… “Why Lord?” (Thankfully, His grace shields from the wrath that would have conceivably followed such a question in the Old Testament.) The New Testament is full of encouragement and promises God does all things for His glory and our good (Romans 8:28).

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, (2 Timothy 1:8-9. ESV.)
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