As Mary and Joseph approach Bethlehem and the mountains which surround it, Joseph might have felt overwhelmed by all that lay before him. There is a certain part in our journey that is finite. “Once we go this way, we can never go back.”
Uncertain of where they would stay, and noticing the signs of Mary’s imminent labor, Joseph might have felt anxious about being a father and delivering a child, but one look at Mary set him at ease. It was her gaze that gave him peace, because she was filled with the peace of Jesus within her. They needed each other. We all need each other.
When we are in those moments of uncertainty, facing mountains of our own, it can be daunting to hear God’s voice. Remember, Joseph’s only burden is to listen to God. But what happens when life becomes so inundated with noise, distraction, worry and doubts that we cannot hear God? As a Jew, Joseph would’ve been very familiar with combating this temptation to take the reigns and do as he heard for himself rather than waiting to hear from God.
The Jewish people were known for their many traditions of remembrance beginning with the first commands of God to remember their exile and exodus from Egypt. The Scriptures are filled with long established traditions many Christians are following today. Besides remembering the Scriptures from heart, Joseph would’ve known how to remember the goodness of God and all he had done in Joseph’s life. When anxiety threatens to confound our senses, our memory serves as an important weapon of clarity.
Though we may not hear God in the moment, we can trust what he has done for us in the past is what he can and will do for us again. Joseph did not need to succumb to his anxiety and try to figure things out. He simply trusted God as he had trusted him countless times before.
Where in your life are you struggling to hear God? How might remembering all the times God has acted in your life before put you at ease to trust him to act again?
A wise man once referred to God’s provision as a waterfall, though we can only contain so much water in an 8 ounce glass, we are always free to return to the waterfall any time we need refreshing and see our glass filled again. We will never experience the exact same feelings we had during the first filling but there is plenty of new water in the waterfall to experience. God always has something new for us to experience in him.
Today’s meditation is different. Spend some time today remembering all the times God has filled you? Remember how your heart felt in His presence. Remember what it feels like to trust Him and to rest in that trust. Ask Him to guide you again to the waterfall and let him fill you again.