“When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. ‘Get up,’ he said, ‘take the child and His mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill Him'” (Matthew 2:13).
It’s easy to forget Christmas now it’s over, but the story continues.
I had an odd Christmas and New Year, as I have been displaced from my home. It’s being renovated and the exterior or it painted, as sections had rotted. Multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) cause my middle son and I to become incredibly ill with paint fumes.
Being displaced over Christmas wasn’t easy! However it’s summer here in Australia, which means that friends are away on summer holidays, so that we have places to stay. I’m in the third house since vacating home.
This difficult journey has taken me to thoughts of Mary and Joseph having to leave their home town of Nazareth to go to Bethlehem, roughly 80 miles away, with few belongings. I feel privileged to have a suitcase and what fits in the car with me.
More than a year after Jesus’ birth an angel spoke to Joseph in a dream that they must “escape to Egypt”–at least another 40 miles away!
After Herod died, Joseph was told in another dream to go back to Nazareth. Oh what a long way to go without a car!
I’ve always known that Mary, Joseph and Jesus had traveled great distances in their early family life. However, I’d never fully registered what that means until now!
How thankful I am that God guided Joseph and his family about where and when to go. Each step was planned by their heavenly Father. They obediently followed.
Likewise, I’m thankful that God has been guiding us to each house. When we have no idea where we will go next, God is orchestrating events to coincide with our needs. Our job is to stay open and obedient to Him directing our paths.
Thankfully vehicles mean that we don’t need to travel by foot or donkey!
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that Your Word is an ever present encouragement for us in our life challenges. Help us to reflect upon the sections that You guide us to for our present situations. Strengthen us when we need to obediently follow the difficult directions that You give for our ultimate good. Amen.
About the Author:
Kerryn Wright lives with her family amongst the gum trees in South Australia. She was a special education teacher prior to chronic illnesses. Her husband is carer for three of their family, who have chronic illnesses and disabilities. God has always guided them through life’s challenges, often in surprising ways.
How can this encourage you in your current situations? What difficult directions has God given you that have been challenging to follow and obey? How have they benefited you once you’ve obeyed?
Most people have difficulties trying to figure out what God wants them to do, what He wishes them to pursue. For those of us who are chronically ill, however, I think it is especially hard, because illness detours us constantly! We know it is not selfish to care for ourself, but it is so hard to figure out what direction God is leading us. This is Third Day singing, “Soul on Fire.” We can relax about the logistics of our plans, and just focus on running toward God Himself. -Lisa