18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.
19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.
20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”
24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife,
25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

The Christmas story is filled with wonder, majesty, and mystery. Can you imagine what Mary must have been feeling? What about Joseph? What must they have thought? What would others think? There had to be confusion, fear, and doubt, among many other emotions. Not to mention the ramifications of Jesus’ somehow being both fully God and fully man at the same time. Mary was given the role of raising God from childhood. That had to have been somewhat overwhelming!

Despite any overwhelming feelings, God can turn what we view to be a problem into a wonderful answer, an answer better than we ever imagined it could be. The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph speaking the very words of God that Isaiah had written 700 years previously. In the midst of Joseph’s conflict over Mary’s pregnancy, God was faithful to provide wisdom and direction for Joseph.

No matter how big our problem may seem, our first response should be to go to God and trust Him to see us through. He knows the beginning, the end, and everything in between. Nothing surprises Him. During this season of advent, make it a point to dwell on God’s amazing plan of salvation that we see begin to unfold in the manger. It is through the baby born in the manger that we experience true peace and comfort, no matter our feelings.

• When was a time you felt conflicted about a decision but felt God pressing you on, despite uncertainty? What was the result?

• Where do you need God’s wisdom or direction now? How will you seek Him?

• Praise God for the miraculous birth of our Savior in Bethlehem.