What Do I Know of Holy? {This Wasn't My Plan}

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oh my goodness!! God really hit me over the head with this one in today's reading from Max Lucado's One Incredible Moment: Celebrating the Majesty of the Manger.

Do you ever wonder what Joseph must have been thinking?

This isn't the way I planned it, God. Not at all. My child being born in a stable? This isn't the way I thought it would be. A cave with sheep and donkeys, hay and straw? My wife giving birth with only the stars to hear her pain?

...Who will celebrate with us? The sheep? The shepherds? The stars?

This doesn't seem right. What kind of husband am I? I provide no midwife to aid my wife. No bed to rest her back. Her pillow is a blanket from my donkey...

Did I miss something? Did I, God?

Wow. I think Max could have entitled this chapter, "Erin, what happened to your plan?"

And I would have to answer, "we are so far from my plan, I can't even remember what my plan was!"

I know for certain it was not to leave the great state, move cross country to the frozen tundra, away from family and friends, taking the boys from their cousins and all that is familiar, basically giving up everything....and for what?

This is not the life I wanted for my children. This wasn't my plan.

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. {Jeremiah 29:11}

I'm unaccustomed to such strangeness, God. I'm a carpenter. I make things fit. I square off the edges. I follow the plumb line. I measure twice before I cut once. Surprises are not the friend of a builder. I like to know the plan. I like to see the plan before I begin.

But this time I'm not the builder, am I? This time I'm a tool. A hammer in your grip. A chisel in your hands. This project is yours, not mine.

I guess it's foolish of me to question you. Forgive my struggling. Trust doesn't come easy to me, God. But you never said it would be easy, did you?

You know how they say, "God works in mysterious ways."

Well, I believe it is because he wants us to know for sure that it is him. His ways are custom-made with his label on it.

One final thing, Father. The angel you sent? Any chance you could send another? If not an angel, maybe a person? I don't know anyone around here and some company would be nice. Maybe the innkeeper or a traveler? Even a shepherd would do.

Only the God of the universe could have orchestrated the events that took place the night of that first Christmas, all those years ago. Thank goodness Joseph and Mary allowed themselves to be used in such a way that we can know for sure that it was from God and not man.

I wonder what God could do in our lives if we did the same?

I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. {Philippians 3:8-9}

Be sure to join us over at Worthy of the Prize as we continue our 25 Days of Fitness journey, preparing ourselves physically and spiritually for the arrival of our savior!


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