Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas (04/25/05)
TITLE: Faithful Obedience
By Joan Carlisle
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"I'm so afraid - I didn't think it would hurt so much. This long trip on the donkey, with the pains bearing down. What's happening to me? I keep thinking back to that time with the shining figure named Gabriel - it seems like a dream. Did it really happen? And that time joy exploded in me while I was talking to Elizabeth - where did that come from? I don't feel so blessed right now. What I was sure of seems so confused. But Zechariah nodded when I spoke of Gabriel - he wrote out what Gabriel had said to him - so it must have been real. We couldn't both have had the same dream. Oh, Joseph is smiling at me. Dear Joseph."
"Yes, Joseph. I'm doing okay."
"Joseph has stood by me through all this. His dreams - they really were dreams. But he believed them, and he stood between me and the whispers. Oh, now he's pleading with the innkeeper - will he find us something? I need to lay down, oh the pain! What? A stable? Well, at least I can lie down, and the animals keep it somewhat warm. I thought, when Gabriel spoke, that the baby would just appear - I had no idea how hard this would be. I don't think I can do it - I keep thinking of Rachel who died here in Bethlehem delivering Benjamin.(1) And I have no women to help me give birth, only Joseph."
"Joseph, please hold my hand. Oh God, should I scream? Aargghhhh!!!"
"The baby is crying. The baby - my baby? No, Your baby. Amazing baby Jesus. How hard it must have been for Hannah to turn Samuel over to You! Please God, help me be as faithful as Hannah.(2) I will hold him close now while I can…."
"The shepherds - what a story! Your Glory shone all around them. And the magi - You provided them a star to find Jesus. I must remember all this the next time I'm afraid. Afraid - Herod wants to kill Jesus. Joseph had a dream that we should go to Egypt. Danger. Esther went into danger at the possible risk of her life.(3) Please God, may I be as obedient as Esther. And Ruth, traveling to unknown lands(4) - please God, may I be as noble as Ruth. Help me, even though - what did Simeon say?(5) That a sword will pierce my soul too? Even though."
"I am the Lord's servant…May it be to me as you have said."Luke 1:38
What if - Mary and Joseph hadn't practiced it?
What if - I don't?
1 Genesis 35:16-18
2 1 Samuel 1-2
3 Esther 4-5:7
5 Luke 2:28-35
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