As I thought about today’s Advent post, I recalled how “my” plans for the purchase of a house changed over the year and a half that we have been in North Carolina. I came with big dreams but the longer we were here, and the more areas we looked at, those dreams began to shrink. The original time frame also changed as I was pretty tired when the original one year lease was up. So “my” plans for our house got smaller, I began to focus on what “I” thought “I” could handle in a house, both physically and financially, what “I” thought was best for my wife and I with our current set of circumstances, and began to come to the conclusion that our dream place was just that… a dream!
But you know, God had a different plan. Soon after I renewed the lease for another year, I began to sense a stirring inside of me concerning the purchase of a home. As I yielded to that inner sensation in prayer, many of the roadblocks I had assembled in my mind concerning the house began to disappear and suddenly that old expectation of believing for God’s best began to reappear in my heart. The dream began to explode and grow again and the restraints I had bought into snapped as we made a decision to go forward even though we had originally thought this to be the wrong time.
Papa God had a plan… the perfect plan for us and I think He was reminding us of it. It was time to let go of “my” plans and yield to “His” plans. And am I glad that we did! We not only were able to snag the place of our dreams in the country, but ended up getting it for $11,000 under our budget, which allowed us the ability to replace the carpets, get some outdoor equipment needed for the upkeep of the new home and finally replace the furniture we sold when we moved from Oklahoma six years ago.
Mary and Joseph faced a similar set of decisions as we did on the way to their new home. So far up to today’s part of the story, not much had gone according to “their” original plan for their new “normal” life together. Everything was dramatically changing… but yet… as they trusted Papa God, everything worked out for them! Contrary to common belief, I would imagine that they didn’t even bat an eye when the inn keeper slammed the door on them proclaiming that there was no room in the inn. I can just see them holding hands, looking away from the closed door with a smile on their faces and stating in unison: “So what’s ‘your’ plan Papa?”
That’s probably a good question for each of us to ask, each day as we step out of bed! It is also a good thought to keep in mind as you meditate on today’s Wednesday, the SECOND week of Advent reading.
In The Fullness of Time
Wednesday, the second week of Advent
Today’s Readings: Psalms 118:23-26 / Daniel 2:44 / Luke 2:6-7
There are many life lessons that can be derived from our small but most important part of our look at the first Christmas. Luke 1:26 in the American Standard Version states that “while they were there, the days were fulfilled…” God’s perfect timing had come. That which had been prophesied throughout the previous ages was actually happening on that wonderful night over 2000 years ago. The anxious moments that Joseph and Mary went through finally came to a sweet conclusion as the baby Jesus was born in the stable of an inn.
How appropriate that the King of Kings was born in that lowly place and then laid in a manger for His introduction to the world. What is an inn but a place where temporary sojourners in a land stay as they are passing through while they complete their immediate responsibilities. Jesus was manifest as a man for only a short and temporary time so that He could complete the greatest deed ever known to man. He was to live His abbreviated stay on this earth as a sinless man so that He could suffer and die in our place, for our sins as the full and total payment to legally free us from the domain of darkness that had ruled mankind since the original sin in the Garden of Eden.
An inn is also an establishment that receives all who come into its abode, as is the same with Christ. I believe that God had it planned all along that the Holy Family would stay in the relative quiet and privacy of the stable so that they could humbly receive those who would come that night in awe and in worship to their newborn king!
When Joseph and Mary arrived with every intention of staying at the inn, they discovered that there was no room left vacant. This is similar to those who know of and may even desire to accept Jesus as their Lord, but never make room for Him to come into the inn of their hearts. Then there are those of us who have received Him as our Savior and have every intention of making Him to be Lord, but as with the others, never make room for him to abide in a preeminent position in our will and with the daily activities of our busy lives.
Our loving heavenly Father greatly desires that the days be fulfilled in us where His perfect plan for our lives can come into fruition. Let this season of giving be the time where you give yourselves totally to Him so that He can have a preeminent hand in the events ahead. Just as He worked out all the details and took loving care of Joseph, Mary and the baby, He will do the same for you! Then you can shout like the Psalmist did when he exclaimed “This is the Lord’s doing (and); it is marvelous in our eyes!” (Psalm 118:23 KJV) Go ahead… shout that out right now! Rejoice and be glad that His ways are marvelous for you today then pray about and consider how you and/or your family can be a blessing to someone else this year by planting a seed of giving into their lives. And with that in mind, have a terrific day! Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What SEED am I expecting to plant today?”