We all have our plans in life. Some of us may have plans to further our studies abroad, to get married, to buy a house, or to travel to this or that country.
Likewise, although the Bible does not mention Mary and Joseph’s plans, I believe they had theirs as well. Being human and betrothed to each other, they must have made plans for their future together as husband and wife. Their plans were abruptly interrupted and changed when an angel of the Lord told Mary that she would conceive, but the baby would not be of Joseph. Instead, He would be from God, to be the Saviour of the world—Jesus.
The coming of Jesus to the life of Mary and Joseph was not part of their plans right from the beginning. When Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant but the baby was not of him, he wanted to shield her from public disgrace without compromising his faithfulness to the Jewish Law, so he had in mind to divorce her quietly (Matt. 1:18-19). Before he could do so, however, an angel appeared to him in a dream (Matt. 1:20-24).
That was a major change of plans, was it not? Mary had to give birth in a stable instead of somewhere comfortable. After their child was born, the ruler of the region wanted to kill their child, and they had to flee. They did not end up living in where they had planned to. Thirty-three years on, Mary also had to watch in great grief as her son, Jesus, died gruesomely on the cross. They did not get to live the type of life they had dreamt of.Many are the plans in one’s mind, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails (Prov. 19:21). Many were Mary and Joseph’s plans, but God’s purpose prevails! Let me tell you what God’s purpose and reason are: His purpose is US, and His reason for Christmas is also US! We are the reason Jesus left His glory in Heaven, for the purpose of coming to the world in human form to die on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for all our sins for our eternal salvation (Heb. 5:9; John 3:16).
Many are the plans in our mind, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevailsProverbs 19:21
During this Christmas season, let us remind ourselves that as long as we know God has His purpose and reason, we need not know why there is a change of our plans. Just as Mary and Joseph had their plans but God changed them according to His perfect purpose to give us eternal salvation, we can simply trust Him, as He always has His purpose and reason, which are perfect.