The Limit of Our Trust

December 2, 2022

Matthew 1:18 NIV

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.

Today's Reading: Matthew 1:18-21

Devo Author: Hunter House

Date: December 2, 2022

What’s the limit of your trust in God? What would be too much to handle? Honestly, it’s a question I was scared to answer for many years out of fear that I would have the opportunity to test that limit. On May 4, 2021, my wife, Alex, and I were given that chance.

I was sitting in Airship Coffee when I received a phone call from her that would change my life. All I could hear was the deep pain coming from her voice as she struggled to communicate to me through tears. She could barely say a word. I knew we had lost our child. Alex was pregnant with our fourth son and at her 17 week checkup that morning. As I raced to the clinic while staying on the phone with her, I was overwhelmed with trying to be a husband to my wife and grieving the loss of our son at the same time... Trying to understand the depths of not only what was happening in this moment, but what the coming months and years would look like with such tragic news. This is not what I asked for. How would we ever walk through this pain, this fear, this grief?

Though very different than our situation, Joseph too hit a point of his trust being tested regarding a pregnancy, “...before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit” (18). Excuse me? This was not what he asked for. Not only did Mary’s story sound unbelievable, but even if Joseph believed her, would anyone else? His good intentions for faithfulness to the law and love for Mary led him to a hard conclusion: “he had a mind to divorce her quietly” (19).

For Joseph, there had to be a mixture of questions, fear, anger, and shame when he received this news. But then, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and confirmed what was happening, called him to hope, and gave him more purpose than he had ever felt. What first seemed like a tragedy and a test of trust became a beacon for hope and salvation. He was called to trust God and love his wife.

Alex and I often say our family will never be complete in this life, and we believe that is a chance to worship the Lord and long for the healing He provides. Had the limit of our trust not been pushed, our view of God would not be as large as it is now. Had we not been given too much to handle, we would still be relying on our own strength. And had our tragedy not occurred, we wouldn’t trust Him like we do today. As much as we would love to have our fourth son with us, we say “thank you” to the God who heals the brokenhearted and binds up our wounds. We experienced this Holy Spirit work first hand in our lives. When our limit is tested, and God’s strength still stands, our hope becomes more anchored, and our grace for others more generous. He graciously invites us into a story far greater than we can imagine in the moment… for Joseph, that meant raising the son of God who would “save his people from their sins”(21).