Countdown to Christmas 2020: An Unlikely Childhood

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” Matthew 2: 13-14 NIV

Kings are usually born in castles and waited on by servants. They are provided with every earthly comfort and all their needs are met. But the King of the Jews did not have such a childhood.

Jesus was born in a humble stable in Bethlehem—far from his parents’ home. He was whisked away to Egypt before he was three years old because of a threat to his life. When they did return they moved to Nazareth rather than their home town.

I was three when my parents divorced and my mother, brother and I moved to an apartment on the other side of town away from my grandmother, cousins, aunt and uncle, and father. I remember dark hallways, small rooms, lots of doors, and a basement with a furnace. Life changed dramatically.

Life is rarely what we expect it to be—but God is still God and we can trust his love and his sovereignty. The Bible says he works all things together for good for those who love him and have been called according to his purposes (Romans 8:28).

Joseph was a favored son of his father Jacob. He had eleven brothers who were jealous of his relationship with their father. They plotted to kill him but sold him as a slave instead. Joseph spent many years in servitude and imprisonment. But God was with him and ultimately used him to save all of Egypt and even his own family.

Joseph said these words to his brothers when they found out it was he who saved them. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20 NIV

Circumstances in your life may not be what you expected or planned, nevertheless God is ultimately in control and uses every event in our lives to call us and lead us to salvation in his Son. I am convinced all the events in my life led me to cry out to Jesus for salvation.

Every moment of Jesus’ life was planned by God. Jesus said he did what his Father in heaven told him to do (John 5:19). His short life and crucifixion was planned from before the creation of the world…God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives!

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