Joseph dropped into a restless sleep. He was as emotionally exhausted as they came, given the kind of day he had. Finding out your fiancée was having another man's baby was very taxing.
Settling onto his soft bed, the one he would have shared with his wife in a few short months, he blew out the candle. The smoke wafted towards his nose, and the darkness claimed his eyes.
The darkness was his friend. There was nothing different about it. It was always the same. No surprises.
But then there was light. Bright, blinding, Heavenly light. It radiated from something in the center.
Joseph squinted. Someone. Someone in the center.
Could that be?
"Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."
Yup, that was definitely a being straight from the throne room of God. An angel.
Joseph opened his mouth to talk with the angel, but it turned away from him. He lept out of bed to catch him.
His eyes flew open. A dream. It was a dream. Nothing more. His heart beat rapidly. Every time he blinked, he saw the Heavenly creature speaking to him. That was more then just a dream. Joseph had been sent a message. A peace settled over his soul, but his instructions continued to echo in his ears.
He knew what he must do.
Based on Matthew 1:20-24
Joseph had just received the most devastating news. Then in a dream, God sends him a message: Go, marry this lady. She didn't cheat on you. The child is mine, conceived supernaturally through the Holy Spirit, and He will save the people from their sins.
Do you ever have something really bad happen to you, then you have a wistful thought that maybe, just maybe it will all turn around. Only this wasn't wistful thinking. This was real, and it opened up a whole new can of olives. (I hate olives, so they are the equivalent of worms for me.)
I think about the fact that Joseph listened. He obeyed. He didn't dismiss God's message as "just a dream." He took it seriously.
"When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife." Matthew 1:24
Not once, but three times. (Which you can also find in Matthew 2:13-15 and Matthew 2:19-23.)
"Again he appoints a certain day, 'Today,' saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, 'Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.'" Hebrews 4:7
"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." James 1:22
It took guts for Joseph to step out in faith like that. He based major life decisions for the next several years on "dreams." Would any of us be so bold? He didn't chalk this up to wistful thinking. He took God's message, believed it true, and lived it.
What if we were a little bolder? A little more willing to step out in faith. Even if the ideas seem crazy. Take that step.
You're not crazy. ;)
V. Joy Palmer