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
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
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!!!