Most people don’t think about what route they will take to get home. It’s an automatic response that we take the same streets and then turn right into our own driveway. We don’t think about it. There may be times when you suddenly get a feeling that you should take a different route this time. You don’t know why but something tells you to take different route. God knows what is ahead so He is trying to warn you by the Spirit to save you trouble. Sometimes we listen and obey that voice, but other times we ignore it.
Since Christmas is over and all the decorations, gifts, songs, festivities are only a memory, we now have to get back to our schedule. It’s almost that we have to take our life back. Personally I have been in self-imposed confinement for the last two weeks. The Christmas week was spent with immediate family indoors as the temperatures hovered between -30C – 40C on a daily basis. Then the second week was spent indoors with the flu.
The Wise Men Warned To Take a Different Route
I started thinking about the wise men and Joseph and Mary who had left their home in Nazareth and travelled to Bethlehem. As a young couple they were immersed into a new culture at the stable with the animals. Money was not the issue for them. It was the lack of vacancy at the hotel.
They must have been glad to know that it was time to go back home. But before they could leave, the wise men arrived with their gifts. They had no idea that Herod had sent them to bring back word to him so he could find Jesus. But God warned the wise men in a dream to take a different route home. Thus, the life of baby Jesus was spared.
Joseph Warned to Take a Different Route
Joseph also received a dream warning him to take a different route to Egypt and not return to Nazareth for Herod was still in power and wanted to kill baby Jesus. The young family moved to a new culture again and had no idea how long they would have to live in hiding.
When most of the danger was over with Herod’s death, again Joseph was warned in a dream that they were safe to return to Nazareth, but settle in a different region. Herod’s family was still in power.
Joseph was given warnings in dreams so he could follow God’s plan on earth in order for Jesus to grow up and live as man until his death on the cross. The parents experienced many changes and different routes in order to keep their family safe. The motivation behind all of this was to fulfil the prophecy concerning Jesus.
A Different Approach
Sometimes we, as parents and grandparents, need to take a different approach to protect our family from danger or negative consequences. Four things we can do to guide our children and grandchildren through difficult times:
1. Be a role model in faith and actions.
2. Bless your children with words and not curse them.
3. Be there and never give up no matter what the circumstances.
4. Entrust them to the care of God.
It cost Mary and Joseph to be obedient: friendships, jobs, the closeness of their own mother and father, culture, housing, etc. Shame and insecure feelings complicated things. The fear of revealing their secret identity had to be constantly in their minds while they lived in Egypt. Maybe they will be discovered by Herod’s people? It was not an easy life in a strange country, but they had to keep their son safe until the appointed time.
What about you? Do you complain when you have to take a different route? If you were asked to settle in a strange country where the language and customs were different how would you react? How can you keep your children safe in our troubled world?