Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. John 7:38
What if we could really let go of OUR plans, what we think OUR future will be or should look like? What if we could really let go of the results WE expect? What if we could just be about what God called us to do and leave all the rest, all the results (even if we don’t see ANY) in His hands and continue on faithfully in obedience to Him?
Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus is a perfect example of someone who was able to “let it go”. Everything in His life flipped when Jesus entered. His plan to live a nice quiet respectable life in Bethlehem with the nice respectable girl Mary, fell apart the day the angel met with Mary and said she was to conceive Jesus the Messiah by way of a virgin birth. What?! Joseph thought, No! It’s not suppose to go this way! This is not the plan! This is not how my future is suppose to look! Joseph wrestled for sure but when an angel met with him in a dream and made God’s will clear he submitted wholeheartedly.
Joseph didn’t waver from the call. He endured all the judgmental stares and sly cutting comments about his wife’s virgin conception. He left what he knew to live in EGYPT of all places… I mean really, Jo doesn’t seem like the guy to wear make-up!! Joseph could have walked away because life just wasn’t going according to his plan, his future was getting all messed up! He could have walked away… but he stayed.
Luke 2:51 states, Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. Do you think as Jesus learned the carpentry trade from Joseph he also may have learned a few other character traits as He observed His parents throughout His young life? Do you ever think He may have over heard the rude remarks about His virgin birth and witnessed how His earthly parents handled the ridicule? Do you think Jesus maybe sensed all that Joseph may have had to give up for Him as He grew?
Hebrews 5:7-9 states, During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him. Jesus is God and so to think He learned anything from any human is crazy but God chose Joseph and Mary as Jesus earthly parents for a reason. Maybe as young Jesus was growing He was able to witness daily the way His earthly parents submitted their plans and future to the Lord Almighty no matter the cost to themselves.
In John 8:4 when the Pharisees bring in a women accused of adultery and make her stand before everyone in the temple courts and He chooses to show her compassion in verse 11. I wonder if maybe memories of what they used to call His own mother went through His head and how His earthly father Joseph handled it? Sometimes we never know how or where or when the seeds we cast for Him in faithful obedience will take root for His glory and His Kingdom.
Joseph died before Jesus did on the cross. Joseph was dead before he got to see Jesus rise from the dead. Joseph did not get to see much of the results of his sacrificial, faithful obedience to God. But I would bet not a day in heaven goes by when Joseph doesn’t still get a few 100 dozen pats on the back with a hearty “Well done, Joseph! Well done!”
Jesus is our ultimate example in faithful obedience and sacrificial love. He gave His life while we were still sinners so that we might receive the gift of eternal life. (Romans 5:8, John 3:16) I’m so thankful for those He has placed in my life that reflect Him so well in faithful obedience which encourages me in my race to keep my eyes on Him as He keeps the plans, future and results.
Jesus, please grant us a faith unshakable and ever increasing trust to not give up in what You have called us to, even when it means giving up our plans, what we think our future should look like and especially when we don’t see the results we expected or any results at all for that matter. Fix our eyes on You regardless of our situation and circumstances until we sprint across the finish line straight into Your loving arms and we hear “Well done beloved… well done!”
Independent Read: Hebrews 12:2, Galatians 6:9, Matthew 25:23