My husband's birthday is one week before Christmas. One of our first holiday seasons together as newlyweds, we were having dinner with his family celebrating his birthday early in December. As everyone was nearly finished eating, his brother announced he thought we should just go ahead and celebrate Christmas together...that night. My incredibly cool, easy-going, and flexible mother-in-law said, "Okay, just give me half an hour to go get things ready." Was this a joke?
I was raised in the school of you make a plan, and that plan becomes law, and that law is not to be broken. Christmas plans were carefully coordinated weeks ahead of time to ensure everyone was prepared, present, and pleased. What kind of gypsy, free spirit family had I just committed to for life? They were not joking. We rushed home and hastily wrapped the luckily already purchased gifts, and headed off for what turned out to be a very memorable, unusual, and most enjoyable Christmas celebration.
As much as I still love and strive to have a good plan for the holidays, I have learned over the years that my plans usually don't work out the way I intend. However, there is a plan that does. Matthew gives us an account of Jesus' birth. His account begins with a list revealing a 42 generation genealogy with some unexpected players leading to the Messiah. He then efficiently recaps the craziest engagement story ever involving a virgin birth and visits from angels. Then he says the following.
So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”Matthew 1:22-23 NKJV
Everything went according to God's plan. And remember, this was not some half-baked last-minute plan. This was a 42 generation-long kind of plan resulting in the birth of the Savior of the world. What's more amazing is the plan did not end with Jesus' birth or even His death. The plan is still in motion. If you have believed in Jesus for eternal life, you are a part of the Father's plan for eternity! He gives us glimpses and promises of His good plan yet to come in His Word. Prophecies are being fulfilled in our lifetime, signaling Christ's return. When my life feels out of control, the single most comforting thought for me is that God has a plan, and it is good.
As you go through this holiday season and not everything goes according to your plan I hope you rest in the fact that it is going according to His plan and it is a good, good plan.