Bible scholars say she was 13 or 14 years old. Mary must have thought she had her whole life planned out. She was preparing to marry a wonderful man and was probably excitedly making preparations. Certainly it wasn’t her idea to be pregnant out of wedlock on her wedding day, especially with a child who was not her husband’s. Then she met the angel Gabriel who said, in effect, “I need to tell you what God’s plan for you is.”
He interrupted her plans with the words “Blessed art thou among women.”
Joseph was making plans for his life, too. I can’t imagine that his plans involved marrying a young girl who was pregnant with a child who was not biologically his. Joseph’s plans were interrupted on that fateful day when Mary told him about her visit from an angel.
God interrupted the plans of both Mary and Joseph. Mary and Joseph were already godly people. (God wouldn’t have chose them to raise His son if they weren’t godly.) But it was by interrupting their plans for their own lives that God worked His purpose in their lives.
The God of Interruptions
Mary and Joseph aren’t the only ones who were interrupted.
Abraham had a comfortable and wealthy life when God interrupted his life. He called Abraham to leave his homeland to go to a land that God hadn’t even shown him yet. It was through his obedience that Abraham was blessed to become the father of a nation and an ancestor of Christ.
Joseph was firmly established as Jacob’s favorite son when his comfortable life was interrupted and he was sold into slavery. It was through this interruption that God saved the life of Joseph’s entire family, and by extension, preserved the nation of Israel.
Moses was married and settled into life as a shepherd when God interrupted his life and called him to return to Egypt. It couldn’t have been easy to go back to the Egypt he had fled as a murderer, but it was through the obedience of Moses that an entire nation was saved from slavery.
Even Jesus’s life was interrupted. At thirty-three years old it would have seemed to the world that this incredible, young Rabbi was just getting his ministry started. And yet with the words “Not my will but Thy will be done” and a kiss from his betrayer, Jesus yielded to an interruption that changed the eternal destiny of believers throughout the world and through history.
God is in the Interruptions
God is in the interruptions in our life, not in the plans we make for ourselves.
I don’t know about you, but as a mother I get interrupted a lot. I get interrupted making dinner. I get interrupted on the telephone. I even get interrupted in the restroom. It’s so easy to get frustrated with those little interruptions. After all, a child banging on the bathroom door doesn’t resemble Gabriel showing up with the message “Blessed art thou among women.” But it is in these little interruptions that God works in us and in the lives of our children, molding us and developing us into the people He wants us to be.
Sometimes the interruptions aren’t little or minor. A few years ago, my husband left his career in software to turn our front yard into a small family farm. That was a huge interruption in my life! But as difficult as it was, now I can look back on this experience and say that God has used this interruption to teach us so much!
And so, sweet Mama, as you celebrate the birth of Christ during this holiday season remember that God is in the interruptions of your life. Your interruptions won’t look like mine. You may be struggling with job loss, illness, death of a loved one, or maybe just struggling with the every day details of a life that is not going as you had planned. Whatever your struggles are, remember that it’s in the hard times, when plans don’t go your way that God most often works His miracles.
Blessings to you and your family in 2014! May we all grow closer to Him!