12-14-11 Matthew 1:18-25 God’s Ways Don’t Always Make Sense
Can you imagine what Joseph must have been feeling? We speak often about how confusing this must have been to Mary, how God must have seen something special in her to chose her to be the mother of the Messiah. It couldn’t have been easy for Joseph either. His reputation was on the line. His life was about to change drastically as well. When he first heard she was with child, he was ready to walk away. What the angel told him surely didn’t make things any easier, and yet he stayed, fulfilled his part.
Has God ever asked you to do something that made no sense at all? When I was a young pastor, wife, and mom, God led me to a church in Wisconsin—a very small church. There was only one member. There would only be six months of salary paid by the district. I would be several states away from family and friends. My husband would have to leave an incredibly stable job. Taking the position made absolutely no sense at all.
We drove home on Sunday after preaching in the morning service. On the way we discussed all the pros and cons and felt like there was no way we could accept the position, but we couldn’t call the district superintendent until Wednesday. Tuesday night there was a missionary service at our church. I was on the platform leading the music and Nelson was in the back with our daughters. The missionary speaker spoke to our questioning hearts as the angel spoke to Joseph. Three times in his message he clearly stated, “God’s ways don’t always make sene.”
Nelson and I gathered our daughters and got into the car without speaking, waiting for the other to break the silence, wondering if the other heard the message as clearly. Finally we both blurted out at the same moment and then burst into a holy mix of laughter and tears. We knew that even though the move made no sense to us, we would soon be moving to Wisconsin. We were so excited to call the district superintendent back!
Is God leading you into something that seems impossible? Does the task He’s called you to appear to make no sense at all? There’s a verse in Isaiah that reminds us, “For my thoughts (God’s) are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways (Isaiah 55:8).” The angel could have reminded Joseph of that or of Solomon’s proverb: there is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death (Proverbs 14:12).
Someone very wise once told me that the will of God will not take you where the grace of God cannot keep you. You may not get a spectacular angel dream, or even an amazing missionary speaker, to assure that you can trust God, but His word and promise is still true and you can trust His leading even when by worldly standards it makes no sense.