At this very moment, I’m writing to you from South Korea. If you’ve looked at the news lately, you may have noticed a few things about my northern neighbor. I certainly have. And the other day, a US senator said he thought I, and all the other dependents here, shouldn’t even be allowed to stay. To say that the future feels uncertain would be an understatement.
People live with uncertainty and unknowns ALL the time. But the military seems to increase the frequency with which we face uncertainty in big areas like family togetherness, safety, and living situations. Luckily, Christmas time is the perfect season to reflect on God’s provision in the face of uncertainty.
And, no, I’m not talking about putting presents under the tree. God’s provision for our health, finances, and material luxuries can all be things we thank God for, but what I’m getting at is the miraculous provision we see through Jesus’ conception and birth.
From the start, Jesus’ story has been one of how God faithfully provided for Him and for us.
Underrated Hero: God Is Careful
We often spend a lot of time focusing on Mary and Jesus, but Joseph was an amazing provision from God for them. Without him, Mary’s fate in society as an unwed mother of an illegitimate child would have been bleak at best.
In Matthew 1:18-25, Joseph finds out about his wife’s pregnancy through the angel Gabriel, and despite the circumstances Joseph chooses to obediently become the protector and caretaker of Mary and the child in her womb.
God chose Joseph carefully and intentionally for the job of being His son’s earthly father. Joseph must have been a kind and gentle man, since his first impulse wasn’t to humiliate the bride whom he might have suspected of cheating on him. He must have been a man of great faith and understanding, considering that he was so willing to heed God’s call when he heard the truth. His lineage, as well as geographic origins were necessary to fulfill Old Testament prophecies about Jesus. He was obedient to God’s commands, delaying the consummation of his marriage and fleeing his homeland when told to do so. In every way, God designed him and orchestrated his actions so that the most important events in all of history could happen in just the right way.
In Joseph’s identity and actions, we see the great care that God takes in our lives, even in the parts of our personal stories that aren’t in the spotlight.
Three Wise (and Generous) Men: God Sees The Road Ahead
We know from Luke 2:24 that Joseph and Mary were likely quite poor because, as the ESV Study Bible notes, their offering of “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons” was meager in comparison to the lambs that affluent families offered. And yet, in the grand adventure of parenting and protecting the Son of God, the young couple would have to flee to Egypt just to keep Him alive after Herod’s murderous decree.
They probably would have faced similar challenges to those we’d face today if we suddenly had to leave our jobs and flee to another country — namely a lack of funds. But even in this predicament, God had already provided for this little family. He sent three wise men from distant lands to bring gifts of great value to little Jesus before they even knew to flee. What may have seemed like a pretty random visit by the time the wise men reached Jesus’ family also ensured that Jesus would safely escape King Herod and live in Egypt.
Although uncertainty often feels like a dark road ahead of us, the path is as clear as day for God, and He establishes our steps (Proverbs 16:9).
Fulfilling Crucial Prophecies: God Orchestrates Every Detail
There were hundreds of prophecies about Jesus in the Old Testament, and scholars agree that it is statistically improbable that a man could have fulfilled even a fraction of them, even if he’d tried. And yet, Jesus fulfilled them all because God ensured that He did.
The Savior would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), from the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10) and as an heir to King David’s throne (Isaiah 9:7) — His name would be Immanuel, meaning “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14) and He would spend a season in Egypt (Hosea 11:1, Matthew 2:15). And that’s just naming a few. In each of these detailed elements of Jesus’ life and identity, God provided clear signs to all of mankind that this was indeed His Son.
God sees the whole picture, but He never forgets the significance of every small detail. In our lives, He takes the same care, even with the seemingly small things, and especially with the big things. Long ago before anyone knew we would even exist today, God orchestrated every detail for our salvation.
From the man He chose to be Jesus’ father, to the help He supplied to the little family, to all of the signs He left for men and women throughout history, God provided for Jesus and for us. Through His past faithfulness, we can trust that His provision is faithful, careful, and detailed, even as He creates a bigger picture around us.
Want to get our devotionals right in your inbox so that you never miss a week? Subscribe here!
Is there anything that feels uncertain in your life?
How have you experienced God’s provision in your life?
How can remembering past provision and considering examples of provision in the Bible help you through uncertain times?