|“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but |
it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
Mary and Joseph were planning a wedding. The initial approval of parents and the pledge that would forever bind them together had taken place. Now Mary could prepare for that important date they had ahead of them.
But, the angel Gabriel, coming to her with an unheard of announcement, completely disrupted the wedding plans. She would have a Baby by the Holy Spirit. Not only that, they would have to travel to Bethlehem, some 90 miles away, just about the time the Baby would be due. Plans disrupted!
Mary and Joseph were planning a trip home to Nazareth from Bethlehem. They must have been excited about introducing their families to the Newborn, and getting into a “settled” life as newlyweds.
But, an angel came and told Joseph that, in order to protect his family, they would have to go to Egypt for awhile! Plans disrupted!
In all of these events, Mary and Joseph responded to God’s plans by obeying and adapting their schedules and dreams. From the very beginning, they seemed to submit willingly to God’s mysterious will. Mary even responded to the angel, as recorded in Luke 1:38:
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.”
I must admit that I have much more trouble adapting to disrupted plans than Mary and Joseph seemed to have. If the weather gets bad, and friends are unable to make it for dinner, or cousin Jake gets sick at the last minute and the family can’t get together for pizza and games, I’m disappointed. If I felt assured that I had the new job for which I had applied, and then I heard that someone else got it instead, it would take me several days to move on from my disappointment. Maybe you respond to disruptions in the same way.
When we stop to remember that we, like Mary and Joseph, no longer should live for ourselves, but rather for the God who has called us, we can begin to live in the place of His blessings, protection and usefulness to the Kingdom. I think of the verses in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:
You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
Lord, help us to realize, like Mary and Joseph did, that since You called us, our lives will never be our own again. Help us to understand that we have a new loyalty, a new responsibility, to do Your will above our own, and a gladness and eagerness to obey, in order that You will be glorified. May Your will be done on Earth, in us, as it is in Heaven. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.