I’ve been reading some of my old journals to remember other Christmases because I want to remember our celebrations. This year is so different with son and family having a Tulsa Christmas.
As I read my Christmases past, it becomes apparent that they have not all been picture perfect. Time tends to shadow the sadness that surfaced during our holidays, the separations we experienced, the sickness that kept loved ones away, the death that left a place at the table permanently empty, the problems that were only magnified during the stress of the season.
Looking at our last Christmas entries, I am glad God did not give me a glimpse of the coming year, of what lay ahead for us in 2011. I think I may have gone back to bed, covered my head with the blanket wanting to stay until the year was over.
Perhaps your year has been something like that.
For certain 2011 did not go according to my plan.
My plan was to accomplish many things, to be successful in my undertakings, to finish projects, to excel and experience happiness in all my endeavors and relationships. I had it all written down.
I didn’t have any room in my plans for operations, hospital stays, extensive care-giving, or learning how to live with our grandchildren so far away.
Reading the account of Jesus birth in the books of Matthew and Luke, I see something that resembles my own life. The characters of this story had plans. Mary and Joseph had plans for a marriage and a happy productive life. Zachariah and Elizabeth had plans to live out their old age in quietness and service.
Mary and Joseph’s plans were disrupted by an unexpected miracle pregnancy, by the decree to go to Bethlehem and then the urgent warning to flee to Egypt. I feel sure it was not the simple life in Nazareth they had envisioned.
Zachariah and Elizabeth were not expecting to be parents in their old age when strength and vigor were waning, when keeping up with a lively toddler would take more energy than they could muster on any given day.
Yet . . . it was God’s plan.
My morning Bible reading recently took me to Micah chapter 4. Verse 12 was the one that caught my attention:
“But they know not the thoughts of the Lord, neither do they understand His plan . . . “
Ain’t it the truth?
I know the verses that say our ways are not God’s ways, that His thoughts are far above our thoughts. It’s just that I want to make sense of what happens to me and to the people I love. I want to understand the “why” of it. If I did, maybe I could accept it more easily.
But alas, that is not the case in almost all of my unexpected interruptions whether it is a minor irritation or an extremely painful life change.
I am required to trust when it is dark and I cannot see the way ahead, when taking the next step is scary and I don’t know how to do it.
“Who among you fears the Lord, listening to the voice of His Servant?
Who among you walks in darkness, and has no light?
Let him trust in the name of Yahweh; let him lean on his God.” Isiah 50:10
Even in my confusion, I find there is always an answer in the Word. It may not explain all the details, the whys and wherefores I want to know. But it does tell me what to do until the day when all things will be made clear.
Until then, there are some things I need to learn:
To wait with expectant hope
To learn contententment whether I have plenty or not
To give thanks in all my circumstances
Tall orders for this sojourner. I am willing to walk in the dark as long as I don’t walk alone, as long as my God goes with me, goes before me and prepares the way.
It’s okay that I don’t have all the answers. I know the One who does.
If you have had an “Unplanned Year” like me, leave a comment. Let’s learn to trust Him together.
Peggy, I can understand just a little of what you feel.Your comments touched me where I live, and I thank you for them. We will both go on, sometimes understanding, sometimes walking completely by faith. I wish you a merry Christmas and a very prosperous New Year, better by far in all ways than this one! God bless us every one!
Sharon, you have been through a rough year, too. We face 2012 holding tightly to the Master’s hand.
When my unexpected came in the shape of a cute, sweet teenager of 16 …my Granddaughter…living with us…it was just as you said…but,I let the Lord guide me and we are learning, reshaping and listening better…I do hope for a good outcome…But, knowing God knows best…He has his reasons…we will be fine…Already, I see such changes…So thanks Peggy for your insight…You are a light for our Lord!- Love, mkg
Yep, this year has been different on our side of town too. I’ve had more unanswered questions than my journal could hold. I thank God for his provisions thru it all. I’ve also seen his footprints ahead of me and behind me, still wondering where we are going as we travel into 2012. My GPS is set on the town called Jesus&meville as I’m traveling thru Whatsitallabout Way. 2011 certainly hasn,t been Candyland. I see Heavenly Way just ahead,as we travel thru some potholes ahead, I’m being blessed with some Heavenly Sunshine peeking around the dark clouds ahead, and its Grace and Mercy warms my soul. I’m trusting we are gonna end up in the city of a Brighter Day!!!! The year 2012 is just around the bend and it’
is Jesus and me for each tomorrow…..So Bring it on…I’ve said, ” JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL.” My bestfriend and I are on this journey together, he’s in the drivers seat so I’ll keep on facing forward. Confident he know where we are going……Bless you in 2012.
Love your comment, Elaine, and your creativity. We will face 2012 with confidence because we know our Redeemer lives!
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