Listening To God
"Because Joseph her husband
was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he
had in mind to divorce her quietly."
In my Bible, there is commentary on this verse. It says, "He [Joseph] would
sign the necessary papers but not have her judged publicly and stoned." (NIV
Study Bible page 1441) Mary's unusual predicament must have been unreal to
Joseph. As much as he cared for her, he did not quite believe her story
about being impregnated by the Holy Spirit. In fact, perhaps one of the
reasons he wanted to do this quietly is because he thought she was obviously
not quite right in the head. I mean, from his point of view, this had to be
one of the most creative stories ever dreamed up by anyone, anywhere to
explain what appeared to be an obvious, cut and dried case of adultery. So,
why didn't he do the manly thing of the time to save his honor? Why didn't
he have her taken away and stoned? Because Joseph was in tune with God, and
felt the gentle stir of the Holy Spirit in this matter. He was correct.
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 of Jesus, because
He will save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:20-21)
There are times in our Christian walk where we wander the parched desert,
desperately searching for just one drink of water. There are other times
when our walk with God is so close, He seems to be whispering in our ear. We
almost see His Form walking beside us. What usually sets these times apart
for me is trust. Trust that He will come through. Trust that He really is
there. Trust that His Way of doing things is infinitely superior to mine.
While I read about Joseph, and the trust that made him wait for God to speak
instead of making a rash decision, I was reminded of a time where God lead
me, literally to the doorstep of a friend.
I had not seen this friend for a few years. She and I had been part of an
inseparable group in high school. Through time and circumstance, we had
drifted apart. She was now married with two children. And the only thing I
knew about her now, was the street she lived on. I figured it would be easy
to find her just knowing the street, but I was wrong. Her block was
honeycombed with apartments, and I had no idea which one was hers. I prayed,
and began walking. I tuned into God, listening with my heart. When I got to
one set of apartments, I was sure it was hers. When I got to a certain door,
I was even more certain. I knocked, and there stood my friend. God had
brought me right to her door.
God had brought Joseph to an
understanding. From listening to God, he got to become the earthly father of
the Messiah, and honor I cannot even begin to fathom. If Joseph had listened
to his misgivings, Mary might have ended up a victim of religious zealotry.
If I had not listened, I would have wandered fruitlessly in search of a
friend I desperately wanted to see again. Unfortunately for me, I am not
always tuned into this sort of trust, or my walk would be a lot clearer and
less self-propelled. God speaks. He spoke to Joseph, to Mary and even to me.
And God is still speaking. Not just to the Josephs and the Mary's, or even
the Blyth's. God is still speaking to you.
Note: If you are still confused about how a gay
Christian can feel they are 'right' with God I encourage you to read the
section of the web site entitled "Gay
and Christian? YES!"
Copyright © 2004 by the author
All Rights Reserved