“Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
‘Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.’
And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him.”
Joseph and Mary were amazed at Simeon’s words. Which has always been interesting to me, because it isn’t as if they didn’t know this baby was special. Yet these words amazed them. And I wonder if at least part of that amazement was at seeing God at work behind the scenes.
Simeon had been waiting. The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that before he died, he would see the Messiah, and so he waited in faith. On that day, the Spirit led him to go to the temple, and he knew. He knew this baby Jesus was Him. The Promised One all of Israel was longing for, the One all the world needed for hope and salvation, the One he had awaited.
Mary and Joseph didn’t know any of this had been happening, this detail of Jesus’ story that was being written. They were faithfully obeying, following God in what He revealed and what was in front of them. And along the way, they saw how He had been preparing their way unbeknownst to them. Sending other revelations. Putting others in place, at the exact time He ordained. Guiding every step, whether seen or unseen. God was there orchestrating it all.
Believer, our God is doing the same for you. Writing your story. Redeeming the brokenness. Working in the background, in ways you cannot see, to fit all the details in place to reveal His faithfulness, glory, and steadfast love for you.
Follow Him. Obey Him, even when it’s hard or confusing. He will be faithful and will establish your steps on His path, bringing others alongside you at the perfect time. He is already preparing the way for you. You can trust Him here, in all things.
In this interaction with Simeon, only a few days after the visit from the shepherds at Jesus’ birth, Joseph and Mary could see again that God was with them. They were on an entirely unfamiliar road, yet they were not alone, not for a single moment.
The angel told Joseph this child would be called Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23). This Son who was given was the start of a new reality. A new relationship with the God who rules over all things. Freely offered in love to all who believe, at great cost to Himself. “To all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, [Jesus] gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
Wherever you are, whatever your story holds in this moment, you are not alone if you are His. In happiness, fear, grief, disappointment, excitement, God is with you always. This is one of the promises Jesus came to fulfill, and He continually fulfills it in our lives.
Follow Him, knowing He is at work in and through and for you, for His glory and your ultimate unending joy. In this work He is very near, a constant faithful presence holding all things together – holding you together – in wisdom, grace, power, and love.
“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
“As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people,
from this time forth and forevermore.”
“Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.”
“I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies…
For it is you who light my lamp;
the Lord my God lightens my darkness.
For by you I can run against a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.
This God—his way is perfect;
the word of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?—
the God who equipped me with strength
and made my way blameless.
He made my feet like the feet of a deer
and set me secure on the heights.
He trains my hands for war,
so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You have given me the shield of your salvation,
and your right hand supported me,
and your gentleness made me great.
You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
and my feet did not slip.”
Psalm 18:1-3, 28-36