In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Mary and Joseph were no different than any other young couple who has ever planned to get married. Mary laid in bed at night, dreaming of the children she would have. Joseph worked through the day, preparing to support the family he would soon begin. And, together, they were planning for the life they were about to spend together.
As the big day approached, everything seemed absolutely perfect… At least, until God stepped in with something better.
It doesn’t seem better at first, though, because all of a sudden, Mary is pregnant, Joseph is planning a divorce and their best-laid plans have completely crashed to the ground. Joseph begins planning for life after Mary while Mary is planning for life as a young, single mother. And just like that, hopeful plans are replaced by hopeless plans, but plans remain a necessary part of life.
This Christmas, what are you planning for? Are you thinking ahead to new relationships? New additions to your family? New job opportunities?
Are you planning ways to save your money? Or spend it? Maybe you’re planning your schedule or considering where you’ll live next?
No matter where you are in life, you are making plans. It’s just the way we’re wired as humans.
What we have to remember is this:
God’s plans are always better than ours. They might seem crazy or impossible, but they are always better.
This Christmas, make sure you leave an option in your plans for God to change them. Because if He finds favor with you, He will.