A tough decision

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about. His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 

Matthew 1:18-19

Joseph’s decision to divorce Mary came from his faithfulness to the law, but his wanting to do it quietly shows how he wanted to protect Mary too. By quietly divorcing Mary, not loudly exposing her to the judging public, he may have been intentionally protecting her from being stoned. I can imagine, between wanting to uphold the law and protect Mary, that he must have felt he was between a rock and a hard place. And there was only one option to make the best out of the situation.

But God had another plan, another option for Joseph, beyond the law, and beyond his own rational thinking.


But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. 

Matthew 1: 20-21

The angel showed Joseph there was another way. The other way did not follow the law of the day, yet it was the way that would lead to “save his people.” The other way did not, I imagine, follow Joseph’s plan on how his marriage to Mary would go, yet he was told to not “be afraid” about the change of circumstances-a virgin pregnant Mary!

I know when faced with decisions, I can default to the law of absolutes- when saying yes to one way, it’s an automatic no to another, for example. I can follow my own reasonings, my own controlling steps to make ‘rational’ decisions.



Like Joseph wanting to show the religious leaders of his day that he was a law follower, I can be self-serving, making decisions according to what will look best to the crowd, and fulfilling my ‘look how good I am’ driven ego.

And EGO Edges God Out.

And this Edging God Out, this ego of mine can close out possibilities by not being open to the impossible and letting the Holy Spirit speak.

But there is another way. For Joseph, an angel appeared to him in a dream and showed him his other way, we are told in Matthew.

I wonder if Joseph had a heart and mind always open to other possibilities due to his faith in the One who can do the impossible?


A heart and mind always open to a possibility that is beyond our rational minds….

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” ~ Matthew 19:26 ESV

 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13

May your heart and mind be open, my friend, to the impossible beyond your own rational thinking.  Ask God to widen your options. The question in prayer could be as simple as “what are other ways (to achieve, to resolve, to create this dream….)?

And always in remembrance that “nothing will be impossible with God.” ~ Luke 1:37

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19 thoughts on “A tough decision

  1. It’s hard to imagine how difficult it was for Joseph. That tug between following the law and his love for Mary. And yet God showed another way and he faithfully followed. Too often I want the way to make sense before I step forward. With you, I long for a more open heart and mind to how the impossible is possible through God, even if we can’t rationalize it in our minds. Thank you for this inspiring reminder, Lynn! Love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Trudy that must have been quite the tug for Joseph! I too so much want it to make sense before moving, especially as one who likes research and facts. I think it’s a matter of getting into LOVE too, and so appreciate your love and hugs to me even if just virtual! Love and hugs back to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Lynn! This is SO good. I had never ever looked at these passages like this- such truth in what you share.

    I’ve had two major decisions this past year that I could have followed “the law” to satisfy my ego and “reputation”, but God led me to go the other way. Oh did it hurt my pride…but wow the freedom I am now beginning to taste. God truly does know best – the LIVING Word. Such beautiful Scriptures you’ve collated. Thank you so much for this encouragement and affirmation in the Lord.


  3. Lynn, thanks for this gentle, scriptural reminder to be sure that ego isn’t edging anything of God out of our lives. How very easily we want to take over the show …

    He’s in control …and so worthy to be praised and honored!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “take over the show…” aww yes. But He’s got the Direction, Production, Writing, Filmography etc perfect; it’s kind of crazy that we would even want to take it over, isn’t it! 🙂


  4. “another plan, another option for Joseph, beyond the law”

    This makes me cheer. Another plan for Mary too—how scared she must have been. Or did she know that she knew that she knew God would not leave her?


    1. Hi Sandi, Yes Mary’s fear of God’s new plan may just have been wrapped up in trust too, that God would never leave her. So many trust and faith lessons we can learn from Joseph and Mary! Have a wonderful week!


      1. Hi Rolain! I’m glad you think it is a great idea! Would you like to write a post, include a short bio, and send it to me at lynnjsimpson(at)gmail(dot)com and I could feature it as the first post of the year or sometime that January depending on when you’d like to submit it to me? I’ll link it back to your site as well. Would that work for you?


  5. The story of the first Christmas is one of most anxiety-producing situations I have read. For Joseph, that was really hard but he proved to be a real man of God and his tough decision led to the joy of this season. Advance merry Christmas Lynn!

    Liked by 1 person

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