For centuries, God’s people had been waiting for the promised Messiah, each family hoping he would be born to them. Then in an “impossible” dream, Joseph received a revelation from heaven telling him that Mary, his betrothed, was going to bear God’s son.
An angel of the Lord instructed Joseph not to shame her, but to marry her and raise the Son of God as his own child. In this dream, God revealed that the coming baby was the promised one, the Messiah.
But was the dream really a nightmare for Joseph? Joseph must have wrestled with all that this news implied. For the rest of his life he might live with the whispers that he hadn’t been able to wait until the marriage bed, or, worse, that he was raising another’s child. For a righteous man like Joseph, the prospect of living with this shame might have been just as impossible to understand as a pregnant virgin.
Joseph probably considered the weight of responsibility – and its impact on his fiancée, Mary. How could he teach God’s Son anything? Would the Son of God want to play? Would he lead the Son of God in prayer? How would their own children feel?
But Joseph put his doubts and questions aside and decided to accept the charge God had given him, regardless of the personal implications. And God blessed him, entrusting him with Jesus, who surely must have been a profound joy to have as his child.
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. Matthew 1:24-25
You may have dreamed an impossible dream only to have it turn into a nightmare. Perhaps it was the dream of a perfect child who has turned into a challenging teenager. Maybe you dreamed of a new start but are now struggling to make a blended family work. Perhaps the whispers of others are shouting louder than their words of praise. You have a world of responsibilities sitting on your shoulders and you’re just not sure you can handle it all.
Do what Joseph did when facing the impossible. Bring Jesus into your home and invite him into your heart. He doesn’t know the word impossible because with him all things are possible.
What “impossible” news do you face?
What comfort do you find in the angel’s words, “Do not be afraid?”
If you haven’t asked Jesus to reside in your heart, say a prayer now, asking him now to take up residence. Ask him to make the impossible possible by filling you with his Spirit and by giving you new life.
Devotional drawn from the NIV Women’s Devotional Bible.