Have you ever had someone say to you, “Okay, I’ve got good news and bad news… which do you want to hear first?” I usually pick to hear the bad news first. Let’s get that part out of the way and then sweeten it up with the good news. Not sure if that’s the best way to do it though. Because if you hear the good news first, maybe the bad news doesn’t look so bad after all.
I think this is the case when Joseph found out The News. Bad news: Mary’s pregnant, and the baby isn’t yours. Yikes. Good news: She’s pregnant from the Holy Spirit, and the baby is going to be the Savior of the world. Oh wow, that’s some good, good news. Maybe we should have started there.
The Bible is filled with many bad news/good news stories. And most of the time, these faithful followers had to jump into the bad news before God would come through with some good news. I think of Abraham wanting a child and getting older and older and older. You just want to go tell him, “Hang in there! You’ll be the father of many nations one day.” I want to tell the Israelites they will make it to the promised land. Just to give them some hope to keep going. And I know this year we are all longing to get to the point where COVID is a memory behind us.
We don’t get to see our earthly lives backwards. We don’t get to see sneak-peeks of how each circumstance is going to work out for our good. But we can thrive in the waiting by trusting God’s goodness, clinging to His promises, and remembering His faithfulness.
Read the story of Jesus’ birth (Matthew 12, Luke 1–2). Pray that God would show you something new in the Christmas Story, even if you’ve heard it 100 times.