The Bible is a book of stories—real stories of real people who lived thousands of years ago. And, interestingly, there is an untold story (or several untold stories) within each of these stories.
Let’s take the most popular one—the story of Jesus’ birth—and find the untold story within that.
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she conceived a child through the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:18)
Soon afterward, Mary got ready and hurried off to a town in the hill country of Judea to meet her cousin Elizabeth.
Our story within the story begins here.
Having stayed with Elizabeth until the birth of John the Baptist, Mary realizes that it is time to head back home. She is now visibly pregnant and knows she would have to confront Joseph and her relatives soon.
It is quite reasonable to assume that the one thought predominantly occupying her mind on the journey back is: I hope God has spoken to Joseph about this. If he thinks I was unfaithful to him, he will be devastated.
Imagine her apprehension when she is about to meet Joseph for the first time after her return. She is surely hoping that as soon as he sees her, he will ease her worries saying: “I know. I know. Don’t worry. God explained everything to me.”
It is quite reasonable to assume that as soon as they met, Mary searched his eyes for that hint of assurance. But she found none. Instead, the smile on his face faded as soon as he glanced at her belly. Mary realizes that Joseph is still in the dark.
As a distraught Joseph turns to walk away, Mary’s heart aches for his suffering. She yearns to call him back and reassure him of her faithfulness. “I have been true to you, Joseph. I didn’t cheat on you.”
Isn’t that what most of us would do if we found ourselves in her position? “Look, dear, it is not what it seems. It was God. He gave me this baby.”
“Yeah! Right! The Holy Spirit! Now why didn’t I think of that myself?” is how most men would sarcastically respond.
It is worth noting here that despite the predicament Mary found herself in, she did nothing to defend herself. She also did not complain to God for having put her in that difficult spot. Why? Because when she said “Let it be done unto me according to Your will,” she really meant it.
You see, though Mary was a simple girl, she was wise. She knew that like most men, Joseph would find it very difficult to believe that the baby in her womb had been conceived by the Power of God. The only one who could convince Joseph otherwise was God Himself.
Mary had to hope and trust in God. And she trusted Him enough to know that if He put her in that situation, He would also bring her out. She also knew that God would do it in His time, not hers. So she waited. And she prayed—for Joseph.
Let’s read to find out what happened next.
(Now) because Joseph was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. (Matthew 1:19)
Hmmm! So Mary was right. Joseph was, in fact, thinking just like most men would. Let’s continue.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20–21)
This is amazing stuff, isn’t it? Why did God dispatch an angel to take care of the problem for Mary? Why did He care so much? Because she trusted Him to do it for her.
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
So did Mary’s trust in God pay off? You bet it did.
In retrospect, Psalm 62 may have as well been written by someone like Mary. It says: I depend on God alone; I put my hope in him. He alone protects and saves me; he is my defender, and I shall never be defeated. My salvation and honor depend on God; he is my strong protector; he is my shelter.
We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him. And so if God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:28,31)
Remember, everything is going to be alright in the end. If it isn’t alright, then it isn’t the end.