Are you willing to release your great plan and be obedient to God’s plan, even if it plays out differently than you'd expected?
The tree is up, the lights are strung, and we’ve set up the Nativity Scene. We have Mary, mother of Jesus, looking delicate and humble. The shepherds are standing by watching over the Lamb of God. The sharp-dressed wise kings offer Frankincense and Myrrh. In the center is little baby Jesus, so innocent, so pure. And cast in what seems to be a supporting role is Joseph, off to the side, rarely in the spotlight. But where would this story have gone if he hadn’t been obedient?
Joseph thought he knew how his life would go. He loved Mary and she loved him. They would get married and get a little place in his hometown of Nazareth. His carpentry business would give them a nice little nest egg to start a family. Someday.
"Someday" happened sooner than he expected. Can you imagine what he was thinking when Mary dropped the pregnancy bombshell?
How could the woman I love be unfaithful?
I had a great plan. How could this happen?
Back then, even though they were just engaged, to break up he’d have to divorce her. He loved Mary so he was thinking of ending it quietly to not disgrace her.
That night an angel appeared and told Joseph to just hang in there with Mary…he was part of a bigger plan.
Don’t you know, sometimes the thing that keeps us from God’s plan is our great plan?
Maybe you’ve had a medical or financial crisis. Betrayed by someone you trusted; blindsided by some unforeseen news. Sometimes we get what we planned, just not how we’d planned.
How do you respond to the unexpected? Do you freak out? Do you throw up your hands and give up? Or do you consider God’s hand in it and surrender to His direction?
If we trust and obey like Joseph, God can change the trajectory of our lives and change the world through us with the same gift He gave through Mary and Joseph...Jesus.