Have you ever had something you valued so highly that you were nervous to even allow it into public? You know what it’s like. You park, your new truck at the farthest point of the Walmart parking lot so no one can ding it with their car door? You do that because you treasure that truck.

Oh, it may not be a truck you nervously protect. It could be your home, your favorite spot in church, or even a relationship.

I wonder if that is how Joseph felt about Mary? If he treasured her. If, when he saw her on the street she took his full attention. Nazareth was just a small town of about 400 people. A town in which everyone knew everyone and everyone’s business for that matter. Sometimes, in fact, they knew too much! You didn’t need newspapers or internet in Nazareth. The women gathering water at the well and the men sitting at the village gates were far more efficient at transmitting information, or their version of it anyway.

It was a quiet hamlet in which little happened other than an occasional Roman soldier passing through on the way to Jerusalem or back to Rome. Joseph no doubt looked at Mary and wondered how a man like him could be so blessed to have a woman like her in his life. She was young. She was beautiful, and more importantly, she had a love and commitment for God that inspired him. He couldn’t wait to take her as his wife and spend the rest of his life with her…that is until the night she told him the news.

He remembers her quietness that evening. He still hears the tone in her voice. “Honey, we need to talk. I had a visit from an angel and, well, I’m pregnant.”

Pregnant? But how? By Who? Every emotion imaginable must have gone through his mind. Anger. Hurt. Disappointment. Confusion. Disbelief. The one thing that didn’t go through his mind was hatred. He loved Mary. He loved God.

As he tried to sort things out he realized that the only proper thing to do was to divorce her quietly. Even though every dream he had for life was shattered. Even though he had every right to have her stoned to death for infidelity. He knew what he had to do to protect the one he loved, and his integrity.

Then the angel showed up. What exactly was it that changed Joseph’s mind? Was it trust in Mary or trust in God. I think you know. Trusting people will often end up in disappointment because people will stab you in the back. Trusting people is an accident waiting to happen. But trusting God? Even when life doesn’t make sense? Even when every part of you is telling you to do the opposite? Even when your decision could make you a laughing stock or destroy your integrity?

Thankfully, Joseph’s answer was yes. Joseph didn’t understand in the least what was going on. But one thing he knew. Trusting God will sometimes put you at odds with society, but it will always be the best way to respond.

What stand is God asking you to take today? Will you trust him to stand with you when no one else will?