There is no doubt that Mary was expecting Jesus for about 9 months. But before the angel’s visit she wasn’t expecting Him, at least certainly not in that way. Nor was Joseph. Nor the shepherds or Wismen, or really any others at all. No one expected Jesus to show up this way. For centuries, people longed for the Messiah to come and expected God to answer their prayers and heartfelt longings, but no one could have called this one! This was a God-sized answer in an unexpected, almost unbelievable way!
As you prepare for the New Year, what are you expecting? May I give some thought-provoking questions over the next few days to help you prepare for all that God may want to do in your life in the New Year? Before I do that though, let me make a few points about how God handled this whole situation so as to help us be aware of what He may be doing in our lives too.
1) God chose to use people that were unsuspecting.
They were planning a wedding..not planning a child! Not yet anyway. I point this out because it can be easy for us to get wrapped up in our OWN plans and details so that God has no room to shift us and use us for something greater. Mary and Joseph had plans to be married and plans on how everything should go and then God happened!
How is God happening around you? What is God doing in your midst? Has God disrupted your plans lately? Have you been given a responsibility that you didn’t ask for, feel qualified for, feel unprepared for?
2) God chose ordinary, young people for something extraordinary.
Even though I qualify as an “old” person now (and try not to lose heart because of it), God still uses old people like me and others to do his will. However, we cannot forget that God also uses YOUNGER people to carry out extraordinary things.
Who are some younger people that you can invest in to help them do extraordinary things for God? What has God been trying to “birth” through some younger people in your life? Think back to your own childhood. What dreams and goals did God give you then that you need to pursue and fulfill? How have you been trying to live an “ordinary” life?
3) God chose a time period for the waiting.
Waiting is not an easy thing for most of us to do. However, as with a child, the conception is instant but maturity takes time. There are nine months of maturing before a birth occurs and then there’s years of nurturing, guiding and maturing.
Think back 9 months. What was going on in your life? What things were being conceived and should have been realized by now? What is God planting in your soul that He desires to see you develop and mature over the next 9 months? What is God trying to give birth to in your life right now? What is God saying “be patient” and enjoy the “expecting” and anticipation phase?