How do we respond when God changes our plans?

As Christmas Day draws near, I can’t stop thinking about Joseph. Can you imagine this? He met with Mary’s father to ask for her hand in marriage, and he was probably nervous. And, as tradition directed at that time, Mary’s agreement was given when they sipped from the same cup in her parents’ presence.

Her “yes” changed his life in ways he never could have foreseen.

Can you envision Joseph building his home for his soon-to-be bride? Maybe wondering about what being married to this good woman would be like. How they might grow their family. Just another Nazareth family living a seemingly incognito life. 

But then he learned his betrothed was pregnant. What happened to this woman of good reputation? Was she not who he thought she was? 

This was not how he pictured his life unfolding.

Joseph’s response when God changed his plans

Joseph, being a man of God, decided to divorce Mary quietly. He may have felt betrayed, but he wouldn’t require her death. 

And then he had the dream. 

When the angel spoke to him and told Joseph the story behind the story of Mary’s pregnancy, he had a choice. Would he obey God and take Mary as his wife?

Or would Joseph bow to Jewish tradition, to his own self-righteous assertion that he had been a faithful man, waiting and searching for the best wife, and now he was humiliated.

His quiet faith led to obedience

1 Essential Truth to Hold Onto When God Changes Our Plans—Joseph's quiet faith led to obedience which helped when God changed his plans #christmas #changeinplans #perspective Click To Tweet

No, his life would never look the way he’d thought it would.

But God gifted Joseph with the privilege of being a part of the most amazing plan ever. 

To care for his betrothed as she endured the shame of thier town.

As they traveled to Bethlehem for the census.

As she gave birth in a barn. Alone. 

He was her midwife. 

He was probably the person who cleaned the baby once He’d entered the world.

Joseph was the man God chose to be an earthly example of a father to His perfect Son.

Joseph’s life shifted and turned in the ways God directed. Because Joseph chose faith and obedience over everything else, God honored his faith and directed his obedience.

Image of a creamy cross ornament hanging on a tree, a reminder that even when God changes our plans, He is also still with us
1 Essential Truth to Hold Onto When God Changes Our Plans 3

Truths to remember when God changes our plans

What about when God changes our plans? This Christmas, some of us face a season that looks very different from what we envisioned. 

1 Essential Truth to Hold Onto When God Changes Our Plans—This Christmas, some of us face a season that looks very different from what we envisioned #changeinplans #christmas #perspective Click To Tweet

We may be carrying grief through this season. 

The loss of a loved one.

Job loss.

Diagnoses.

Broken relationships.

Weariness.

Heartbreak.

We can rest in this truth: even when our lives stray from our plans, God still directs our steps. When God changes our plans, we can choose to keep our faith in Him. 

Let’s trust that our Father walks with us through every unexpected circumstance, and we can find peace in the bends in our path.

Conclusion

As you prepare to celebrate Christmas this year, rest in the truth that even when you don’t know why the plan shifted, your Father does. And he’s walking with you through it. 

This song written from Joseph’s perspective moves my heart and makes me tear up every time I hear it. I hope you’ll take the few minutes to listen to it and ponder.

May we maintain a state of wonder at the beauty of God’s perfect plans.

What about you? Which character of the Christmas story most moves you? When God changes your plans, how do you respond?

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