Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:6–7

“How can this be?” Mary asked the angel, according to Luke. It must roughly translate to, “Wait! What?! Conceive…give birth…Son of the Most High? How can I have a
baby?! Everybody knows there’s only one way to have a baby!” We don’t know exactly how or when Mary told Joseph. Apparently it didn’t go well. Joseph was crushed. The betrayal stung beyond words. How could Mary do this? He loved her. He didn’t want to hurt her, but he couldn’t take this pain of his own. He wouldn’t make a public scene, but he would break off the engagement, the equivalent of a divorce in the marriage process and customs of the day.

You know what happened. There were angels and messages directly from God, and both Mary and Joseph chose to believe them and trust. But you also know how people are. If Joseph had a hard time believing Mary’s story, just think about their neighbors and customers and townsfolk. Both Mary and Joseph must have been targeted with their scorn and judgment. It wouldn’t have been an easy nine months. It wouldn’t have been an easy journey to Bethlehem by foot or by donkey. It wouldn’t have been an easy parenting journey.

But Mary and Joseph continued to trust. They continued to stay faithful. The questions and uncertainty must have continued to come too. And they must have continued
to remember God’s work they had witnessed. They must have thanked Him for all they had seen. They must have prayed and petitioned God, turning their focus on Him. We know the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guarded their hearts and minds even in their most difficult moments—just as He has promised it will do in ours.

What are you feeling anxious about? What is your prayer and request from God today?

Written by Jeremy Jones
Distributed with Permission from Outreach, Inc.
ReDiscover Christmas: Good News in Troubling Times Advent Reading Plan
© 2020 by Outreach, Inc. All rights reserved.
Published by Outreach, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO 80919