Thoughts for the Week

Archive for September, 2015

Escape to Egypt

“Mary? Can I talk to you a moment?”

Joseph looked down at his wife as she cradled her son. She looked outside at the setting sun, the crisp smell of evening air had filled their home. “It’s getting late, let me get him to bed first.” She began to rise from her sitting position, but Joseph sat beside her and gripped her arm gently.

“No Mary, I think we need to talk now.” Mary looked startled at Joseph’s worried expression. “What’s wrong?”

Joseph gingerly took one of the baby’s small hands, and sighed as it gripped his finger. “Mary, I had a dream last night. A dream in which an angel came and talked to me.”

Mary half-smiled, “You mean like the dream you had that told you I was telling the truth and you should marry me?” Joseph cupped the baby’s smooth hand in his rough calloused one, not allowing himself to smile. “Mary, I think Jesus is in danger.”

Her smile faded. She held her son more tightly. “An angel told you that?” Joseph nodded. “It said that you, Jesus, and I are to escape to Egypt and stay there until we hear from the angel again because Herod is going to try and kill him.”

It all had tumbled out at once; Joseph had been debating all day how to tell his wife. But the stunned silence she had now was worse than a blatant argument.

She stared at him with wide eyes, she held Jesus so closely that he wriggled as if wanting to get down. “Joseph…” she began, “escape to Egypt?”

“Yes, the angel wasn’t wrong last time, and I believe it’s right this time, too.”

“But Joseph, Egypt?” Her eyes were still fearful, “That’s a world away! It’s a different language, different culture, different gods…it’s not where I want to raise Jesus!”

Joseph let go of Jesus’ hand and placed his worn hands on Mary’s shoulders. “Neither do I, but it’s not permanent. The angel will let us know when it’s safe to come back.”

Mary looked down to blink away stinging tears and began brushing back the soft hair on her son’s head. “How will we even pay for it? I don’t think we can save up enough for a trip like that.”

Joseph smiled gently and pointed to a crude wooden shelf behind her where three ornate boxes were displayed. “I think the Magi’s gifts we got yesterday are the provision we need.”

Mary paused and nodded slowly, but tears stilled welled in her eyes until they spilled onto her cheeks. She lowered her head so her chin rested on top of Jesus’s head and began to cry.

“Joseph, I don’t know how I’m going to relocate again. It’s so hard for me to find friends. As soon as they find out what year we got married, and then find out Jesus’ age, they do the math themselves. After that, they won’t even give me the time of day. I don’t know if I can leave what little comfort we’ve made for ourselves here.”

Joseph finally released Mary’s shoulders and enveloped her in his arms, along with the baby. “Mary, I know the past few years has been extremely difficult for us, especially for you. But God is doing something incredible here, and He is going to be with us if we’re here or in Egypt.” Mary pulled back and looked at her husband with streaming eyes. He reached up and whisked away one of her tears.

“He’s going to take care of us. I think we just need to trust Him.”

Mary nodded, wiped her eyes, and then stood with the baby in her arms. “Then let’s leave tonight.”

Matt. 2:13-15

Copyright 2015 Molly Farnsley. Use by Permission Only.

Curiosity and the Cat

My cat, Wheatley, almost ate a hornet a few days ago.

I was washing dishes in the kitchen when I saw him on the table, starting to stalk something on the windowsill. It took me a second to realize that the thing Wheatley was stalking, was buzzing and angrily bouncing off the interior glass.

My first thought was, “Oh, Whealtey found a hornet.”

My second thought was, “OH! Wheatley found a hornet!”

He was about ready to chomp down on the bug when I grabbed him by the tail, pulled him back across the table, then scooped him up in my arms and hurried safely into the next room.

After I took care of the little intruder, I realized how calm my cat had been when I had to get him out of the room. He didn’t hiss, claw me, or seemed generally worried. I was proud that he had trusted me when it came to a situation he couldn’t understand.

God wants us to give him the same kind of trust. There are situations that come into our lives that we couldn’t begin to understand, that God might pull us out of or put us in with no explanation.

But God asks us to trust him when his ways seem mysterious because “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Rom 8:28 NIV)” and “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right? (Gen 18:25b).”

If you are loving enough to remove your pet from a dangerous situation without an explanation, can’t you trust the God who loves you infinitely more?

Copyright 2015 by Molly Farnsley. Use by Permission Only.

What Goes on Under Your Roof?

How well do you know what’s going on in your household?

I was struck by a particular passage while reading through Proverbs 31: “[The wife of noble character] watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness” (Prov. 31:27 NIV).

While this is applied to women, men can also take from this concept. I had just read through verses 13-20 which go into detail how this character works outside of her home and how working with the poor is a part of regular life.

I find it poignant that while the text indicates that she is a capable and strong woman outside of her household, she’s also aware of what’s going on under her roof.

She does not get swept up in the success of her work, and still knows that at the end of the day, her young son needs a nightlight to sleep at night. Or that her teenage daughter has a crush on a particular boy. Or that her college-age son has quiet ambitions to start a business of his own.

One can only know these things if they invest, listen to their family, and take time to watch over them.

This week, see how you can invest into what goes on under your roof.

Copyright 2015 Molly Farnsley. Use by permission only.

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