Are you all in?

Have you ever been trapped in water or had a near drowning experience? I know full well what it’s like and the need to be brought safely out. You’d think growing up in Florida, I’d have a better feet in water 2command of swimming, but not so much. My younger brother and I were forever getting into either pool water or the ocean surf over our heads. My oldest sister was always in charge of pulling us out, I’m sure sometimes it was begrudgingly as we were the ones who broke her bed jumping on it, and perpetually tattling on her (she gave us great fuel for doing so), and even spying on her from the garage while she sat outside with her boyfriend.

Recently with all of the wild weather, the rain and subsequent floods in the northwest and middle America, I was captivated by a story I heard of a young mother who was trapped on top of her car with two of her children, while a third was hanging on for dear life to a tree. Apparently, she took a wrong turn and ended up in a ravine that was rapidly filling with rushing flood water. While holding her babies and comforting her endangered son, she was able to call 911 to get help. The audio of her situation was chilling as you could hear the desperation in her voice and the concern of the operator. Her ordeal lasted 45 minutes until a police officer arrived on scene. He cautiously trudged through the raging water to reach his intended targets and was able to carry them all to safety on the other side. (Do you think that’s what he had planned for the day? Probably not.) The news story finished with the officer reuniting with the grateful family days later.

Isn’t that an incredible story of perseverance and heroism? Stories like this get my mind to thinking for a number of reasons. How many times, like the young mother, have we taken a turn in life that was not on our map and we felt trapped or even confused about God’s plan? What about the policeman and his heroic effort in saving the family? He was trained to defend, protect and serve. I’d say he did his job admirably that day.

During this Christmas season, this story brings to mind Mary and Joseph. A young couple engaged to be married whose life took a completely different direction. It was because they were ‘all in’ and submitted their life to God’s plan. Think about it—they came together as a couple to give birth to and raise the son of God! How do you even begin to do that? Parenting in and of itself is hard, let alone the fact that you are raising God’s child so He can one day reconcile man back to Himself.

The best part of the holidays.

The best part of the holidays.

Jesus was born in one of the filthiest places on Earth, a stable and feeding trough, which is very symbolic of just exactly what He came to do—feed the dirty, filthy, sinful world, the Bread of Life. Can you imagine the terror Mary must have felt when she went into labor knowing where she was? What about Joseph? Being a young man, I’m sure acting as a midwife was new to him, and here he was ready to help God come into the world in a stable—virtually out in public. (Remember, Bethlehem was probably very busy that night because of the census mandate.)

It’s amazing to realize just what it took to raise the Son of God. Mary and Joseph must have been shocked when the shepherds appeared at the stable saying that they heard from the angels about the birth. Then years later to have the magi show up at their door claiming they followed the eastern star which brought them to Jesus. (Matt. 2:1) They worshipped him with their praise and gifts. The gifts would then be used to provide the family with the resources they needed—a Godly provision.

God was still providing when he gave Joseph the dream to take Mary and the young Jesus immediately to Egypt so that he would not be killed under an edict from King Herod. Like our policeman, Joseph didn’t question what needed to be done, he just did what he had pledged to do: defend, protect and serve. Having shared the dream with Mary, I’m sure she was much like the mom holding onto her baby as she sensed the rushing waters of ill-intent starting to surround them.

We know through the years that Jesus grew in stature, wisdom, and favor with God. (Luke 2:52) I’m sure there were many more events that probably called Joseph to step up to his role as stepfather to the King of Kings. As a mom, Mary played a key role not only raising Jesus, but in His ministry as well, up until his crucifixion on the cross. God was surely her strength and provision that day.

The parents of Jesus had different goals for their lives when they were a young engaged couple. However, God intervened and pointed them toward what appeared to be the flood waters of the world that would change the course of history and eternity forever. What was their response? They were ‘all in’ because they trusted God’s plan.

What path has God pointed you toward? Jesus came so that we can have freedom in God. Are you chosing to stay safe on the side of the road preferring not to get your feet wet or are you ‘all in’?

Until next time, stay chic and Merry Christmas

Vicki

Love, love, love this piece I found on Facebook.

Love, love, love this piece I found on Facebook.

Matthew 1:18-25 (NIV) This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.” When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Matthew 2:1 (NIV) After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem.

Luke 2:52 (NIV) And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

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