The ways of God are sometimes the long way

Can God trust you?

Can you be trusted to go into a situation of real need and to rely on His provision? Can you be trusted to be taken into a situation of pain and to rely on His presence to comfort you?

“But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.” (Matthew 2 v 22-23)

They have stopped on the way. It was all going so well. They had left Egypt on the exciting news that Herod was dead. They began dreaming again. But then they hear the bad news.

God sees things that we do not see. He not only sees the things that happen to us but also the things that could have happened to us. Egypt to Bethlehem was a lot shorter route than Egypt to Nazareth. The long way round is often the hardest way. But I am not thinking in terms of miles and distance but with the circumstances of those moments of the journey.

“Having been warned in a dream …” What was that warning? Was it a warning not to go to Jerusalem or Bethlehem? No. Joseph had already paused the journey afraid to go there. He would not need any warning not to go there. Perhaps it was a warning not to go back to Egypt. There are times when the return looks like a place of comfort, safety and an easier life then continuing forward. Perhaps it was a warning to overcome their fears of Nazareth. Mary’s hometown, the place of conception and the place of stigma. The long way round is often the hardest way.

Let’s remind ourselves that the ultimate reason why Jesus came was His death and resurrection.

But how did Jesus get there? Born in a humble village of Bethlehem, becoming an asylum seeker in Egypt and then raised in a town of Nazareth. Nazarenes were despised people and he would be called one of them.

From infancy to childhood, childhood to boyhood, boyhood to teens, teens to manhood, thirty years of living in Nazareth. What went on in that time, we do not know.

For thirty years, the vast majority of his life on earth, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, under the direct guidance of God the Father, lived amongst the poorest people and in total obscurity.

That is the long way round.

Your name may not be known. You may not have a place, title or position. You may struggle to make ends meet. You may not have what others want you to have. You may not have that perfect job, that perfect spouse, perfect children, you may feel alone, unwanted and unknown.

You may describe your life as being lived the long and hard way.

But can God trust you to remain in relationship with Him in Nazareth?

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