Have you ever played Dirty Santa? Let me rephrase the question. Have you ever played the original Dirty Santa? That is one game that proves that sight can be deceptive. The gift wrapped in toilet paper could be the very thing you’ve been hoping for while the large box beautifully adorned with Christmas wrappings and a perfectly tied bow could turn out to be an 8-pack of Irish Spring or even worse, a Chia Pet. When playing Dirty Santa, we laugh hysterically but in life, no one wants to be left holding the pretty package with no purpose.
As I read the story of the birth of Jesus, I immediately recognized that both Mary and Joseph were in a situation where many of us have been or currently find ourselves. Do we make our decisions based on what we see or do we trust the voice of God?
When the angel appeared to Mary and told her she had been chosen/favored by God to give birth to the Son of the Most High God, her response was, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:34-35)
In that very moment, Mary had to make a decision. Would her next response follow her initial one which was based on sight or would she choose to accept what the angel had spoken for her life?
Mary replied, “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to do whatever he wants.” (Luke 1:38)
Where Mary saw limitation, God saw opportunity. In that moment, Mary made a decision to trust the word of the Lord even if it did not make sense.
Joseph, when he found out his fiancé was pregnant, was ready to end the engagement but after hearing from an angel of the Lord, “he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife.” (Matthew 1:24)
His initial response was much like Mary’s (and ours), based on sight.
God’s plan rarely, if ever, plays out the way we envision. Our path is pre-determined because He knows the process needed to prepare us for the promised place. Yes, the crooks and turns, the detours and delays, are all a part of His perfect plan.
I hope you will take time and reflect on the birth of Jesus. He is the greatest gift ever given to man and although His primary packaging was not pleasant, God’s perfect plan came to pass through a baby who was born in the poorest of conditions, yet saved a dying world.
This Christmas and in the days ahead, I beg you to chose Him over that which you can see. His plan for you is much greater than sight can ever reveal.
Merry CHRISTmas to you!