Wednesday in the Word
I hope you've been well since the last post :) I have not been doing too well health-wise, but to be honest, it's been a huge wake up call in terms of making me reflect a lot more on my faith, my relationships, and my lifestyle.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed a ridiculously long post I made regarding my cats. They've really been one of the biggest blessings I've had throughout this entire ordeal. Believe it or not, my cats have become very good at waking me up every six hours to get me to take medicine, and my little Hakzai has been especially diligent in making sure I'm in his sights at all time.
I take part in a morning devotionals group, and this morning, one of the girls had done her devotionals on Matthew 1. We talked a bit about Joseph's reaction to finding out that Mary was pregnant, and how at the time, a betrothal is pretty much as binding as a marriage itself! To put it into perspective, imagine if your fiancee came to you, and told you that she is pregnant by someone else (or he got someone pregnant) - what would your first reaction be?
"Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But 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.....' When Jesus woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus" - Matthew 1:19-25
I shared with the girls that if I were Joseph, I probably wouldn't be so quick to believe that I had heard from an angel of the Lord in my dream; I would need to think and pray about whether I had made up the dream because I was just lonely and desperate and too cowardly to walk away from the marriage. I don't think I have enough faith to just know that it is the Lord's angel and go forth in the marriage.
To put this into perspective: what's crazy is that we must remember this is pre-Christ. The Old Testament shows how unforgiving sin is, and that literally, the sins of one person within a community can bring the whole community to calamity. The Old Testament was a time of honour killing - literally cutting off sin from the Body. An example of this is Achan, who's sin brought down the entire Israelite army. Only in his and his family's death was victory restored to the Israelites. It sounds extreme, but without Christ, that is the standard that the people were bound to! The Israelites didn't even know that Achan had sinned against God, and their punishment was already so severe. How much more then could Joseph be punished if he knew Mary sinned against God and still married her? There's nothing but faith keeping Joseph by Mary's side, because if the dream was a manifestation of his own loneliness, then he would also be a sinner.
I think this really brought into perspective for me how little my faith is. Does my faith say, "I am willing to die if I am wrong?" Am I willing to put my life on the line for the Gospel message? Because that's exactly what Joseph did. He put his life on the line to build up the Gospel message.
More in line with what I am currently going through, and possibly some of you out there also in an essential line of work, I was really praying for a way out of putting others in danger. I can't go too in depth into the situation, but I am an essential worker, because I work in an office adjacent to our storage facility. I oversee offloading of containers (those huge big rigs), and there's honestly just no way for there to be social distancing while our temp workers are offloading. I felt like it was immoral for our company to not only receive necessary items and pay a fee to hold other containers. While from a business perspective, I could understand trying to make the most of every penny, I felt it was endangering people unnecessarily. I've been praying for wisdom and clarity in how to handle the situation.
Well, now I'm sick and quarantined at home, and most of work has been put to a stop. The situation has been handled. I feel miserable with my coughing and fever, but God answered my prayers nonetheless. Do I believe deeply that our company should try and limit operations for the safety of our temp workers? Yes. Do I believe enough to put my life on the line? I wish I could honestly say "Yes", but I'm selfish. And that is something I really need to work on in my own heart - if I know of life through Christ, what do I have to be afraid of? Even if they're alive, they may not be living, but even in death, I know I'll have life. Is my love so little that I fear death? Is my faith so weak that I can't stand firmly enough for what I believe in?
I am so challenged by Joseph to have more faith and to stand firmly, even in the face of death. That's what faith is, isn't it? If you don't believe enough to place everything on the line, then it's doubt that's holding you back. Jesus held nothing back from God and His love for us, because that is where His faith lay. As Christians, we are called to have that same love for His people and faith in God, that He is sovereign, no matter the circumstance.
These are some things that I'm meditating on and chewing on at the moments before I drift off to sleep. I hope you all are having a safe time at home. For those who are in an essential line of work, please stay safe, I'll be praying for you guys <3 What you do in the food, healthcare, government, etc. sectors is very much appreciated.