Which brings to mind how Joseph and Mary must have felt when their lives were dramatically interrupted by angelic announcements. Their future was bright until the divine announcements threatened their sense of well-being to the core. If all you have is the Christmas-card mentality—Oh, how precious to see Mary, Joseph, and the child with angels fluttering over them!—then you’ve missed the magnitude of just how disruptive God’s interruptions were. What would Mary tell her mother, to say nothing of all the relatives and busybodies in her little village? Do we think for a moment that any of them would believe the story that began with “An angel told me . . .”? And for Joseph’s part, everyone would conclude that he had violated his fiancée’s virginity—which in those days would have been a damning breach of religious and cultural standards. Believe me, no one would want a “Kitchens by Joseph” sign in his or her front yard anymore!
Given the weight of it all, the amazing element in their story is that they both accepted the interruptions with a sense of resolved surrender. A surrender that put them in a place where God could accomplish far more through them than their uninterrupted lives ever would have dreamed of. Though awkward and challenging, God’s unexpected change in their plans gave them the honor of parenting the very Son of God. And our world has never been the same again—to say nothing of our lives!
Matthew 1:24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
Luke 1:38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
There’s a lesson here for us. When God interrupts our best laid plans and expectations—even when it seems like the outcomes are devastating—He has a far greater thing in mind for us. God’s worthiness and glory is far more evident when it is expressed in the midst of suffering. There is no greater confirmation of the trustworthiness of God than when we trust Him even in the face of the unexpected insecurities and uncertainties of life. And who knows what He has in store through you in terms of impact in future generations when He rearranges your life? I can’t always tell you what God is up to, but I can assure you that He uses interruptions to do things far beyond what we ever dreamed.
When interruptions come, stop resisting. Surrender and start looking for the hand of God as you serve Him obediently in spite of the uncertainty that is staring you in the face.
I’ve often wondered: What if Noah had said, “I don’t do boats!” or if Moses had complained, “I don’t do crowds!” or if Job had insisted, “I don’t do suffering” or if Mary had declined, “No thanks, a virgin birth is too great a risk” or, ultimately, if Jesus had said, “I don’t do crosses!”?
Trust Him. He knows what He is doing with your life!
Let us ‘walk in grace’ together.
May we find ‘joy in the journey and good times in the going.’