Insights on the Journey

There are some things that are eye opening as a person travels internationally.  I have been challenged to keep my eyes open and my heart ready to learn as I travel.  This trip has afforded that opportunity. 

Yesterday, our flight was delayed departing by around 4 hours.  While I was tempted to grumble, I chose to pray silently and interact with some other people that were going to be on our flight.  We were at the airport from 8 am until around 2pm before departing.  As we got to our hotel room and were winding down for the night, my mind drifted to another young family whose travels were recorded in God’s Word…Joseph, Mary, and an inside the womb, Jesus. 

When they reached their hometown (they were mandated to go there for the census counting), they discovered there was no room.  There wasn’t room with family.  There wasn’t room with friends.  There wasn’t room at the local inn.  There WAS room in a stable out back behind the hotel. 

Sometimes the Bible comes alive by the precise words that are recorded.  And sometimes, for me, it comes to life because of what is NOT recorded because it leaves room for us to imagine some of the details.  I wondered how Joseph responded to those who turned him and his expecting wife away.  Did he have a harsh word for them?  Did he plead for mercy and favor and beg to be allowed to stay?  Did he quietly accept the circumstances and choose to embrace them as they were? 

In my mind, I haven’t ever imagined Joseph’s reaction other than grateful for a place to sleep.  However, as we travel……I imagine his reaction as a tired traveler, his wife expecting their firstborn….possibly a bit emotional, and the fact that he was returning to his “hometown,” I find it hard to comprehend that he was mild and non-confrontational. 

In our USA culture, the way to fight for your family is to get up in someone else’s face and MAKE something happen.  However, in PNG, I have seen a different response that is much quieter and more resolved to accept the things as what they are.  Now, that is a generalization, and I know that not everyone responds that way, but it is true of some.  Isn’t that interesting?  Isn’t that different?  Isn’t it fascinating to consider that the Bible doesn’t record Joseph’s reaction but rather the facts of what God provided for this young family?

So?  I wonder, dear reader, what is going on in your life and heart that is difficult to accept and embrace as from the hand of God?  During my morning devotions, I read from Ps. 119: 65-72.  Verse 71 stood out to me as particularly interesting.  It says, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your [God’s] statutes.”  In the margin beside this verse, I have written the lyrics from a song called “In the Valley” by Sovereign Grace Music.  It says,

Let me learn/that the cross precedes the crown/to be low is to be high/that the valley’s where you make me more like Christ….

So?  I close with a challenge to my own heart….what am I finding difficult to accept and embrace in MY life?  If it is from the hand of God and specifically chosen for me, can’t I accept it gladly?  Can’t I accept it graciously?  Oh Lord, help me to see the value in my circumstances and may YOUR Name be made much of through my chosen responses!!!