Joseph and Mary sojourned as strangers in lands wherein they had no family or friends during the most critical time of their married life—the first four years. From the time of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem to their fleeing to Egypt to escape Herod’s massacre was about two years. Then, they were in Egypt until news of Herod’s death reached them, which was about another two years’ time. Imagine the loneliness and yearning to be back with their own people, if for nothing else, to celebrate specials days together with loved ones. Nonetheless, I can also imagine that there was special grace during special days as they realized it was their obedience to their heavenly Father’s perfect will that had brought them to where they were.
Mary expressed in Luke 1:38: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” Knowing that their lives were not their own, and that there was a grander picture and greater decree than that of their own lives, they would have glorified God through their loneliness!
This kind of scenario parallels, to some degree, the feelings of loneliness which our missionaries oftentimes feel as they serve in hostile foreign lands during the Holiday season. They have laid down their lives for Christ sake and the Gospel choosing to focus on the grander picture and greater decree than that of their own lives. Both husband and wife have legitimately said like Mary—whatever your plans are for us in this place: “be it unto [us] according to thy word!”
Let remember them throughout the holiday season trusting that the forsaking of personal solace will indeed lead to the furthering of a priceless message! Pray that they will be sustained by grace during times of loneliness that those who sit in darkness might see that glorious light!
Weeping & Rejoicing