Those of you who know me, might be surprised to know that I don’t like surprises and love a strict routine. Life on the mission field, though, has forced me to bend, grow, and become flexible.
At least I try.
When Scott called me earlier today and told me the car still wasn’t ready as promised, I struggled not to cry. As we’ve waited in South Africa, the kids have been counting down the days until Christmas, but we’ve yet to put up a Christmas tree, wrap presents, or even play Christmas music.
And while I know that Christmas isn’t about hanging stockings and singing Christmas carols, I love those special family traditions.
The truth is that the past few years haven’t gone according to “my” plans. When we bought our house in northern South Africa four and a half years ago, I told Scott I wasn’t moving again.
Well, God certainly had other plans. In the past two years, we’ve lived in four countries, which caused me to look hard at what’s important. I’ve pretty much chucked the idea that my kids will lead a normal life (though who’s to say what “normal” is). No T-ball, ballet classes, Forth of July parades, or white Christmas’ with boxed stuffing and pecan pie for desert.
Which is okay. Most of the time anyway. ☺
So this reminder is for me today, but maybe you need it as well. Jesus left the glory of heaven with all it’s perfection and beauty and especially the presence of His Father to come to a world full of sin and strife. And because of His love for us, He was willing to endure all that pain to the point of dying on the cross.
Yes, that’s you and me with all our flaws, imperfections, dreams, hopes and failures.
He came to Earth as a baby to fulfill God’s plan of redemption because of His great love for us.
Luke wrote: So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
I’m sure Mary never expected that visit from the angel that changed her life, that she would be with child from the Holy Spirit, or that she would have to travel to Bethlehem and give birth to her firstborn child in a manger.
And yet she listened and followed God’s plan for her life.
Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. Sometimes the pain seems too hard to bear, while other times we’re surprised by blessings beyond our wildest dreams. And through all the laughter and the tears, one thing that remains constant. Hebrews 13:8 says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.
Did you hear that?
He won’t change who he is or what he expects from us, or his love for us. How reassuring in times of uncertainty.
So for today, embrace the unexpected and hold fast to the One who never changes.
And as you celebrate this holiday season, remember the baby born in a stable, who grew up to give His life for you and me, then rose again giving us hope of a future.
Be blessed today,