Get Up and Leave
“When the Wise Men had left, Joseph had a dream. In the dream an angel of the Lord appeared to him. ‘Get up!’ The angel said. ‘Take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you to come back. Herod is going to search for the child. He wants to kill him.’ Joseph got up. During the night, he left for Egypt with the child and his mother Mary.” (Matthew 2:13-14, NIrV)
Every parent knows the demands of middle-of-the night feedings and diaper changes for newborns. As I read this passage about Joseph’s actions to protect baby Jesus from Herod, I am encouraged and convicted at the same time. In this passage, we see that Joseph’s love for God and Jesus went far beyond temporary discomfort and loss of sleep. Without hesitation or debate, he gave up everything for Jesus. He left his village, friends and neighbors, business, home, and possessions. He left it all to protect Jesus.
Living in Houston, Karen and I see families everyday that have made this same level of sacrifice. We live in a section of the city that is home to a large population of immigrants from several Latin countries. Driving ten minutes from our home, we enter a different world and are surrounded by the artistry, customs, products, and foods of India, China, and the Far East. As I pass these neighborhoods, I often wonder how many of these parents came to Houston with a “Joseph heart” to save their children from the ravages of war, starvation, and poverty to give them a new life. As a Christian, I am encouraged by their hunger and thirst for life and their willingness to get up and leave in the middle of the night.
Has the Lord sent His angels to talk to you lately? Is He telling you to get up and leave old and familiar neighborhoods, dysfunctional relationships, addictive behaviors and habits, meaningless jobs, dying churches and move to a new place? Does God have a fresh start waiting for you, but you have been afraid or unwilling to take the first step? I encourage you to be like Joseph. Get up in the middle of the night and leave your past behind. Trust God as He leads you into a new life and new beginnings.
Lord, thank you for this powerful example! of the importance of trusting and obeying your voice. Show me all the areas of my life that I need to leave behind. Give me the courage to get up in the middle of the night and follow you. Through the blood of Jesus and in the name of Jesus I pray, amen.
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