Hope In Difficult Times

2016-12-14-06-45-38-1626233804

40 Days of Hope-Day 35

Hope In Difficult Times

All of us have struggled with difficult situations. Times when what we have planned does not turn out the way we would choose.

And even though the course of events are not what we would choose, in time we see it become what it was meant to be from the beginning. Sometimes through our difficulty  we become part of something much bigger than we could ever imagine. Like Joseph.

Joseph was the first person to struggle with the news of Mary’s pregnancy. Mary’s momentary “How will this be?” (see Luke 1:34) seemed to come and go, like a cool breeze.

But Joseph saw no angels. He only dreamed dreams. He had no quickening in his belly to tell him that life, a baby, had indeed been conceived without his participation.

We know almost nothing about Joseph, apart from his willingness to say “No” to himself for Mary’s sake and for God’s. Imagine the dilemma of that simple man, finding himself cast in the role of father to the Son of God.  Though that beautiful infant was not part of his body, the baby must have quickly taken over Josephs heart, as most adopted children have a way of doing. As he held that precious bundle in his arms, Joseph must have asked

“How could it be?”….

It is an impossible task, being a parent.

Not just difficult….impossible.

To take on life from its first breath on through to maturity-to feed, and clothe, educate and all the rest.

How could it be…..

How did Joseph do?

We regretfully have no scenes of him with Jesus in the carpenter shop. But since Jesus was also known as a carpenter, he must have learned his trade from somewhere. We know for certain that Jesus made it to manhood with a wonderfully strong and simple version of what father meant. He must have learned it at least in part from Joseph.

Before he cried “Abba!” with a man’s  tormented voice in the garden of Gethsemane, he must have tenderly called out that same name in an innocent child’s voice to that man in the shadows, Joseph.

Just a man who held fast in hope, in difficult times, and became part of the greatest story ever told.

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