The road less traveled…

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Luke 1:26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

At the time of Jesus’ birth, Israel was ruled by Romans. There had long been prophesies of a Messiah who would save his people and restore the throne to Israel. What strikes me this morning is the manner in which God chose to do this. Jesus was not a political/military leader as expected. Far from it. And because Jesus was not the Messiah people expected, many rejected him.

I’m pretty sure I do the same thing. I expect God to act in a particular way, then miss it when his actions don’t meet my expectations. This is most often the case when I’m called to follow a more difficult path rather than an easier one. I ask the Lord to help me avoid a difficult person, then realize I’m called to love that person instead. I ask God for some material provision, only to realize God wants me to embrace a season of “less”. I ask God for better sleep at night, only to realize I’m being invited into a time of prayer in the wee hours. I could go on.

Is it possible you’re missing out on God’s leading because where he is leading is not where you want to go?

Lord Jesus, you are the good shepherd and you lead your flock. Help us to embrace the journey when it takes us to places we’d rather not go, in ways we don’t expect. We ask this in your holy name. Amen.

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