To know me is to that I love the “hidden gems” of the Bible. I get stuck on the little things, and the things you don’t typically hear in a Sunday sermon. Lately, I’ve been stuck on the “hidden gem” known as Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. Why? I honestly don’t know, maybe it’s because it’s the Christmas season (OMG CHRISTMAS IS IN 2 DAYS!!! Lol). Everybody talks about Jesus this time of year (which they should; reason for the season, I know), and everybody talks about Mary (rightfully so; the woman went through pain that I’d fall out just thinking about), but you rarely hear people shout about Joseph. To me, Joseph is just as necessary to the story as Mary & sweet baby Jesus. We could all learn a thing or two from Joseph. How? Sit, sweet suga, let’s chat for a bit…..
Joseph was a descendant of David, and therefore, a descendant of Abraham. These connections were necessary requirements to be the earthly father of Jesus because it made Him the manifestation of prophecies made concerning the messiah. Which showed me that Joseph was literally born for this assignment. He was born to complete a lineage from David to Jesus. He was born to be the earthly father of Jesus. That sounds cool, huh? But he was also born to bear some heavy burdens. Joseph was born, and one may even say called, to wed Mary, which came with its own set of troubles. Imagine your girlfriend, a virgin, telling you the spirit just got her pregnant, and in about 9 months, she’s going to give birth to the Son of God (I still love you though, boo!!). Yeah…right *cue the side eye of all side eyes*. Can you imagine how many people talked about them? Think about how easy it would’ve been to go out & say, “I don’t know what she’s talking about. Baby girl has clearly lost it. I’m divorcing her tomorrow...” and be done with it?But, Joseph didn’t do that. While he did consider doing away with this whole marriage thing quietly, he didn’t want to embarrass Mary in any capacity, because whether he recognized it or not, he was born to bear this weight with her. I’m sure Joseph went through some trying times during Mary’s pregnancy, both internally & externally, but throughout eternity, this man will be known as the man that got to raise & spend time with the Savior...all because he was born to do this.
Just like Joseph, all of us are born to do something. You’re born to win every victory. You’re born to learn from what appears to be a loss. You’re born to do all the great things God has for you to do. But you’re also born to bear some burdens. Have you ever just…sat down and thought about the burdens that come with being…you? Well, you’re born to bear those burdens too. Now, I’m a different type of person, so stuff like that gives me hope, because if I’m born to bear it, then I must be born to defeat it. I believe that the same is true for you. You may be wondering ‘why this’, & ‘why now’. My answer to those questions would be: because you’re born for it, boo. You were created to handle this burden at this time. You were not only fit for the storm, but you were born to survive it. Weeping may endure for a night (and those nights can get long, so consider yourself warned), but joy always comes in the morning. Morning is definitely coming, because you weren’t born to bear burdens from the day you were born until the day you die. You were born for the burdens, and a few ‘birthdays’. You, suga, were born to be renewed, and refreshed throughout the journey. It won’t be all mountain tops, but you won’t spend every day in the valley, either. You’ve got a choice to make every day that you wake up. You can stay, and fight another round, or you can give up. Now, giving up sounds like a good option sometimes, especially when you’re tired and have been fighting for what feels like forever and a few years, but before you concede defeat and decide to move on, think about what you’re giving up. You’re giving up a legacy. You’re giving up the blessing that comes after the battle. If Joseph ran before Jesus was born, he’d be known as somebody who couldn't handle pressure, if we knew who he was at all. Your legacy is your decision. You can die on the steps and be known as a failure, or you can finish this race and be known as a somebody that defeated what tried to take you out. Choose wisely; it’s more than the present pain, but it’s the purpose that pushes us forward.
Another thing about Joseph: he was a servant. After Jesus is born, we tend to ignore his early years, as if once He was born, all was well with the world. However, at some point after Jesus’ birth, an angel came to Joseph, and essentially said (warning: Valencia Version coming soon), “pssst! Get up. Get Mary, get the Child, and head to Egypt. Stay there until I say otherwise. Herod is trying to destroy Him, and we can’t have that.” (Matt. 2:13, if you want the actual words lol). Notice that nobody bothered to ask Joseph about the family’s plans for the weekend, if he had vacation days available, or if he felt like making the trip to Egypt (because he couldn’t get on a flight, so that was quite the journey). There wasn’t much consideration beyond the fact that somebody was trying to kill Jesus. Yet, Joseph did as he was instructed. Now, I can’t say that he did it with a smile on his face, because I honestly don’t know, but I do know that he did it. He submitted to a mission that was bigger than he could’ve ever been by himself, and did what God instructed Him to do.
Through Joseph, we see that to be a servant is to be willing to put your plans to the side at any moment. It requires flexibility. You can’t fully serve God if you don’t move until He says something that falls into your comfort zone. If you’re going to be God’s servant, you have to be willing to move when God says move. If you’re going to get (and keep) God’s promise, you’re going to have to do it God’s way, suga. Now, this sounds soooooo simple, but honestly, it is suuuuuuch a struggle (lol). Especially for my fellow planners, because a lot of work goes into planning the next year, 5 years, 10 years, etc. of our lives. But, once again, to get God’s promise, you’ve got to follow God’s plan. If you’d ask me where I’d be in 2015 back in…ohhh…2010. I would’ve told you that I’d be a UT graduate, in law school…at UT, with my own apartment living the fabulous Austin life! I wouldn’t have said a thing about a blog. I wouldn’t have said a word about the school I attend now, or the church I go to. Why? None of this was in my plan! According to 2010 Valencia, I should be in Austin, walking around in 75 degree weather! But I would’ve missed so much if I’d demanded to do things my way. I would’ve missed a new group of friends. I would’ve missed being a member of my church. I would’ve missed ministry opportunities. I would’ve missed y’all!! So while it is quite the struggle, when God gives you a plan that differs from what you had in mind, trust it. Trust Him. We say all the time that “His ways are higher than ours”, yet we apparently don’t want those higher ways because when He calls us up there, we freeze in fear of failure. If He’s called you to it, He won’t let you fall. His name is on the line here. He’s undefeated to this day. He’s brought you this far. Why on earth would He trick you into failing now? When God gives you a dream, a promise, a vision, etc., and you follow Him, He’ll do what’s necessary to protect it. He won’t let your dream die. So, let’s all be like Joseph, and do it anyway (with the fear, with the struggle, with the burdens, etc)…because we’re born for this.
Words from the Author
At the end of the day, these posts are the thoughts that run through my mind. These are the lessons I've learned. The doors that I've walked through. The path I've chosen. This is part of what it means to be me. Hopefully, it'll help you be...you. Let's grow together, kay?
Within the first year, Church Decoded was viewed over 15,000 times! FIF...TEEN....THOUSAND!....IN A YEAR! I am SO grateful to everybody that has ever read, shared, and/or liked a blog post. Ya'll have truly blown my mind. Let's keep telling (our lives) His story!