When Joseph awoke from his sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him. ~ Matthew 1:24 (Read Matthew 1:18-25 for the whole story)
Matthew’s version of the Christmas story is different. It’s about Joseph, learning that his new wife, a virgin, was pregnant with a child. What to do? His society at the time told him this was a disgrace to him, and according to Jewish law, he could divorce her without any reason.
But Joseph was a good man – “a righteous man” the story tells us – and so not wanting to submit her to shame, he decided to divorce her quietly. And that’s what we resolved to do. But I wonder, was he taking the easy way out?
Last week, we talked about why wrestlers are willing to face and take on pain, adversity, suffering, and trials. “Quitting isn’t an option” was one reply. It’s just not in the nature of the beast, was the consensus.
But there are those times, when faced with those things, perhaps we are just a little less confident in our choices. We’re a little less confident, even when we decide to enter into those tough situations. And while maybe our choice isn’t quitting or giving up outright, our lack of confidence in a way, is “taking the easy out.” We short-change ourselves without even knowing it.
It is in those times, perhaps we need reminding, and intervention…and we need saving. The angel’s announcement to Joseph is all of those things. It reminds him of the larger picture – why it’s important for him to take Mary as his wife, and this child in her womb as her son. But it also is an announcement of a savior to Joseph – that God is with him in this, and no matter how hard the public humiliation might be on his end, God is with him in this, and that is where true confidence is found. As the passage goes, “If God is with us, who can be against us?”
This story is a reminder, an intervention, and an announcement of good news for you too. Remember why it’s important to face those hard things – it’s who you are, as a person, and as a wrestler. But also know the good news that God is with you – this Jesus, a savior for the world, and for you. And in that, I hope, you find all the confidence in the world.