December 8: Timing

Luke 2:5 NIV
He [Joseph] went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.


Oh what timing. Have you ever had situations happen at what seemed like the worst time for them to occur?

Before being visited in a dream by an angel, Joseph had previously decided to break his engagement to Mary quietly and secretly. Once he realized it was truly an act of God, he carried on with it. Though I’m sure they continued to live as much of a sequestered life as they could.

But now, due to circumstances outside of his control, he and Mary would be forced out into the open in a far more public way. A census of all things. Inconvenient. Costly. Time-consuming. Arduous. Uncomfortable. Exposing. Crowded. And yet, divinely orchestrated.

I wonder how many times I’ve missed the divine nature of events taking place that I instead counted as inconvenient or as an interruption. I wonder about those circumstances that have pulled me in a completely different direction than I thought I’d go. Not to say everyone of them was divinely orchestrated. But I wonder. Because I’m mindful those moments probably happened during times like now, when things were just a little busier than normal. And it’s in those busy seasons where I, we, can certainly miss the bigger picture of what God is doing.

Today, I paused to consider what has taken place in the last few weeks, months even, that didn’t happen as I had thought it would or when it would. I zoomed out and looked only for the landmarks, those places where the unexpected caught me by surprise and maybe even draped a small cloud of disappointment or doubt over my heart. I’m amused with myself as I can see now, from this angle, how I wrestled to try and maintain control of those situations. I couldn’t. I didn’t.

But now, as we soon get ready to turn the corner into a new year, here’s what I can do. Trust. Trust in the sovereignty and goodness of God and release those unexpected twists and turns of the journey into His hands. Not try and erase them from the narrative, but let them just “be”. Let them rest in the place and time where they landed in the story and know that God can and will use my “unexpected census moments” to add yet another layer of beauty and richness to the story we’re writing together. And lastly, I reach in and slightly adjust the clock in my heart to where it’s back in tune with the rhythm of His timing, not mine.

Here’s an honest truth, friends. Much of the tension, stress and anxiety we experience is due to what is outside of our control. But now is a good time to convince ourselves afresh that “every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives” (Romans 8:28) Yes, the story may have taken some unexpected turns, but it’s time to turn the page and start a new chapter.