And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.~Jeremiah 29:13 NKJV
Many people celebrate the Christmas season with beautiful decorations, gather with friends and family, and engage in festive songs. Since its creation in 1857, many have heard and sung We Three Kings, the story where the Magi follow the star that led them to the Christ child.
How did these Wise Men, who came from the East, know to look heavenward for a sign? The first possibility is that God prompted them to search the skies and follow the star. After all, He told them later in a dream to avoid Herod (see Matthew 2:12). Perhaps the Magi, as astrologers, watched for this astronomical object based on prophecy they had read. Since Daniel, a Jewish captive and Babylon’s chief administrator over the Wise Men, prophesied the birth and death of Jesus over four hundred years prior to the event, he likely influenced their knowledge. Or maybe, they read Micah’s prophecy about Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. Regardless, they were guided by a brilliant light.
Believing their eyes would see the prophetic King, the Messiah, inspired the Magi to set off on this unknown voyage. A one-way camel trip from Babylon to Jerusalem averaged four months. To leave their homes, friends, and family for a year required tremendous faith. The Bible doesn’t tell us the number of men and escorts who traveled, but to roam into foreign lands and face the potential dangers of wild animals or bandits took great courage.
I imagine these travelers experienced emotional and spiritual discouragement along the way–not knowing how far they would trek, how long it might take, or what their exact destination would be. They may have argued among themselves about whether they had made the right choice. Some may have done some finger-pointing. Satan may have attacked them with doubt, despair, irritation, and other tactics, hoping they would turn around and head home.
But God knew what they would encounter, and He equipped them to endure, just as He does us. He doesn’t always remove the obstacles, but He strengthens us through them.
The Magi’s perseverance paid off. Basking in the presence of the Messiah relieved their doubt, encouraged them, and built their faith. Their journey home was likely a joyous one as they shared heartfelt insights about King Jesus and the hope of what He would accomplish.
This eight-to-nine-month expedition must have impacted all those who braved the trip because they went home having found the greatest treasure on earth–Jesus. If you allow discouragement or self-doubt to keep you from the path God has paved, follow His leading because great treasures await at the end of your journey.
Share a time when perseverance paid off for you.
Father, thank You for the hope that You gave the Wise Men and the hope that You give me. Let me have the same passion and determination to seek and follow wherever You may lead. Give me faith to overcome any obstacle. In Jesus’ name, amen
Copyright 2021: Follow the Star: Irene Wintermyer: All Rights Reserved