His wife to be was pregnant, with a baby that wasn’t his. Culturally he could divorce her, which he considered doing, but an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.
“Joseph, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the One conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you shall give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21
Joseph had faith that God was with them, and he was faithful in what the angel instructed him to do.
She was pregnant with a baby that wasn’t even biologically fathered by any man. Impossible. A pregnant virgin. Carrying the Son of God.
The angel answered “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Matthew 1:35-38
Faith. She had faith. Blessed is she, who believed He would fulfill every promise He made.
Jesus was a miracle before He was born, but it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Mary and Jospeh as they prepared for His birth. Even so, they stayed faithful to God’s leading, because they knew He would be faithful in return. Over 2000 years later, we are still remembering this baby boy born of a virgin.
“From seed to sequoia”
And He still does the seemingly impossible today. He still moves mountains with faith the size of a mustard seed… or a sequioa seed.
When I heard the song “Seasons” by Hillsong Worship (song below), I cried. I didn’t know why I was crying at first, but I kept listening to the song, and the tears kept coming. “From seed to sequioa”. What is a sequioa anyway? As far as I knew it was an SUV, but I looked it up, and was moved by the depth of the words in this song.
The sequioa is a tree, a fairly large tree that grows upwards of between 200 and 300 ft, with a base of about 40 feet in diameter. However, the sequoia grows from a very small seed, about the size of an oat flake. The tree has cones, about the size of a chicken egg, that can hang on the tree for years before falling to the ground remaining unopened. The interesting thing about the cones, which hold the sequoia seeds, is that the cone needs fire in order to open, and for the seeds to begin to sprout.
The sequoia can also withstand fire which would consume other trees, because it’s bark contains a fire retardant which is used in fire extinguishers. If there is an opening in the bark however, then the fire can get inside to consume the tree and destroy it.
I don’t know about you, but I want faith like that. I want faith, even if it’s only the size of an oat flake, that will only grow through the fire. I want faith that will completely shield me when the fire comes, and protect me from being destroyed by it. I want a faith that, as small as it may seem, will stand tall like a sequoia.
Who are you Jesus that having a little faith would grow like a sequoia?
I want to have faith like Mary and Joseph. That even though things probably felt impossible they had a faith that believed God would do what He said He would. And He did. Jesus born in a manger, who would grow up to heal the sick, turn water into wine, let the blind see and the lame walk, the one who would walk on water, and then die on the cross and rise again from the dead. And over 2000 years later His name can’t be tamed.
Who are you Jesus that having a little faith would grow to standing tall like a sequoia? Who are you Jesus that the suffering of the innocent was worth it? Who are you Jesus that stepping out of the boat, into waters where one should drown, is worth it?