The Best Laid Plans

Yes, we spend a lot of time dreaming about the plans we have for our future. But sometimes God has a different plan.

11 “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

It was the same for Joseph and Mary. During their time, marriages were arranged by their parents. Plans were made, contracts, signed, dowries agreed upon and dreams made. It required a lot of both families. After all, they wanted the best for their families.

Joseph would have been a good choice for Mary. He was a descendent of King David, a carpenter who would provide a good living for his family. Imagine how Joseph must have felt when he began to hear rumors that Mary was pregnant. Maybe Mary had talked to him about the visit she’d gotten from Gabriel, but he had not received such a visit.

18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23”The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” – which means, “God with us.”

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Matthew 1:18-25

God’s plans. They can throw a wrench in our plans sometimes. How do we deal with the disappointment?

Early in our marriage, my husband and I were expecting our first child. It was very early in the pregnancy when our first child was miscarried at 2 months. This child that we were already making plans for was taken from us before it’s life even began. Disappointed? Yes, very much so. Our plans suddenly were changed. I don’t know why and you know, I never asked God. As it turned out, if that first child was born, our oldest daughter would not have ever been conceived because I would have been pregnant during that time.

God had a different plan than our plan and Ashley has been such a blessing in our lives. I can’t imagine our lives without her. God has worked through her in so many ways to reach out to others.

Joseph must have loved Mary very much to have been willing to not disgrace her. His life ended up being very different during that time for I imagine that he heard murmurs of Mary’s unfaithfulness. He respected her and trusted in the angel delivering God’s message.

I like the fact that Joseph took time to consider the situation. Many people react to obstacles before they have time to process it. By waiting, he was able to get God’s take on it.

The message I take away from this sermon is to take my plans to God. I find myself in a place right now that I wouldn’t have imagined just a few years ago. I have seen God at work guiding me where he wanted me to go. 9 years ago, our band left and we had one young man leading worship by himself. I was surprised when I heard myself offering to help him, whatever he needed. That was the first day I picked up a bass guitar. Has it been an easy journey? No, but I also know God isn’t done with me yet. He’s still teaching me new things and I trust that whatever I need to know, he will equip me. God’s like that. He will prepare the called even if they don’t have a clue at the beginning.

What is God’s plan for your future? Are you so entrenched in your own goals that you would say no to God? Or are you willing to trust and follow his lead?

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