And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “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.”
- Matthew 1:19 – 20
Fear. Such a small word that can have such a big impact in our lives. Fear can push us away from where God wants us to be. Fear can keep us from living wholeheartedly. It kills vulnerability and curiosity. It pushes us into hiding. Fear creates people who are cautious, combative and controlled.
Joseph’s fear was certainly controlling him. It was leading him to do something he didn’t want to do. Joseph cared for Mary. He was a just man. He didn’t want to put his bride-to-be to shame. But the divorce he was planning would do just that. Even if he was quiet about it, the divorce would communicate in no uncertain terms: Mary, I don’t trust you.
So God sent Gabriel to Joseph to tell him to knock it off. To stop letting fear have its way in his life. To live wholeheartedly. Take Mary as his wife. To love and trust her.
Joseph’s fear invites us to name our fears. So take a few moments to consider these questions: What are you worried about today? What frightens you? What keeps you from living wholeheartedly?
God’s message to you is the same message he gave to Joseph. Don’t be afraid.
So today, as an act of faith, place what you fear in God’s hands and trust that he is with you. He will help you. He doesn’t want you to be living anxious and afraid. He wants you to trust him. To find your life in him. To be joyful and free. So place your fear in God’s hands and let him take care of it for you.