DIVINE INTERRUPTIONS

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Does anyone have a childhood memory of the summer vacation trips you took?  I know I do.  I remember as a child thinking ahead of the day that we would leave.  I remember pondering what we would do; each time getting more and more excited.  I would count down the days.  But there were times when something would happen and times where plans had to change.  Mom and Dad had so much on their minds, trying to get things taken care of.  I know I didn’t think of what they went through so that my brother and I would not be too disappointed.  Sometimes things happen because “that’s life”.  Sometimes it just can’t be helped.  The world is an ever-changing place.  Even in the 60s and early 70s when family vacations really meant a lot to me, things of this world caused things to happen.  My dad had a certain amount of vacation time to take and if plans changed, he had to try to get his vacation dates changed.  Mom was a stay at home mom, but when dad was stressed, she was stressed.  All my brother and I knew was we weren’t going when we thought we were.  It was a sad time for us and I am sure mom and dad felt bad that we were disappointed.

Sometimes the hardest thing, once my brother and I got over the news, was just trying to understand why.  We saw how hard it was for mom and dad to tell us.  They knew that we were excited.  Yet, because of circumstances beyond their control, the plans had to change.  The best thing that my brother and I could do was to simply accept it.  But in the private conversations that take place between brothers, we were very sad and somewhat angry.

The Bible speaks about someone who had their life turned upside down due to an announcement.  Something she didn’t know would happen.  The world was about to change for all eternity and she had to try to understand it.  Luke 1:30-33 (NIV) shares the announcement: “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.  You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”  Can you imagine what Mary felt?  Certainly it was much more than a change of vacation plans; although travel plans were in her near future.

The Angel Gabriel wanted her not to be afraid.  The announcement was good news, yet an incredibly HUGE event.  Mary was not only giving birth to a son, but she was giving birth to the Son of God.

When I was told of our change of plans I had to come to a point of acceptance.  Mary also had to come to a place of acceptance, but I am sure there were times when her mind was filled with “what if’s”.  And she must have thought about the effect on Joseph.  You see Mary was a virgin.  The culture they lived in would allow Joseph to divorce or cancel his plans to marry her because she would be carrying a child in her “yet not married womb”.

So much was going on, yet Mary said this as written in Luke 1:38 (NIV): “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” When it counted, she responded in faith to trust the Lord.

Think about this for a minute.  What would you do?  If you were either Mary or Joseph.  Mary was a teenage girl who now found herself pregnant with a son; despite her being a virgin.  Joseph found himself in a position to now understand how this happened. Do I divorce her? Do I not divorce her? Do I shame her publically or do I keep this under wraps? Do I even believe the crazy story she is telling me or is this a cover up on her part? This was no small dilemma for Joseph, especially since he is obviously not the father of this child.

Sometimes interruptions in our lives come from our relationship with God.  I call them DIVINE INTERRUPTIONS.  They take us by surprise, yet God has a plan for us and interruptions are a part of that plan. Proverbs 3: 5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct[a] your paths.”  Can we do that?  Or should I ask, “Do we do that?”  I know that I struggle with interruptions.  In my perfect world, I like having things go as I plan.  I think to some degree we all do.  I think that there’s a lesson to be learned from the story of Mary and Joseph.

I want you to listen to a powerful and challenging message entitled: “Our Coming Savior – The Story of Joseph and Mary”. Click here to check out our Podcast: http://painesvilleag.com/our-coming-saviour

Friend, interruptions are a part of life.  They happen every day.  Divine interruptions are for our good and God’s glory.  When these Godly interruptions occur, pray.  Seek God in prayer.  Next, put the interruption into proper perspective asking yourself things like, “How bad is it really?” and “What difference will it make in eternity?”  Then, think about God’s providence and who really is in control.  God is still in control.  And finally, give thanks to God for He truly cares for you.  Jeremiah 29:11 says this, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”   God had plans for Mary and Joseph and their hope was in Him.  God has plans for you, too. Place your hope in Him this Christmas Season.

George Leonhardt,
Writer/Blogger

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