The birth of Jesus Christ our Savior is a study in how to handle Plan “B”. When Mary heard from the angel that she was going to bear the son of God, it was a complete surprise and a huge re-ordering of her world. “How shall this be?” she asked God’s angel. Now she would be pregnant and unmarried—a recipe for scandal and death, or at very least excommunication from her family and town. Bearing the Son of God was definitely her Plan B, or maybe even plan X, Y, or Z.
Her Plan A was to get married, have children, settle down and enjoy life. Someone said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” Actually, this was no laughing matter. God had a plan for the salvation of humanity which involved sending his Son to be born, live and die as a human being, while still retaining his divinity. And his death would atone for human sins and reconcile us to God eternally. Quite a plan. And like all of God’s plans, it would happen. But it would require Mary to “buy in”. And being a young woman of great faith, she did buy in. She said, “Let it be to me according to what you have said.” –Luke 1:38
Mary teaches us how to deal with the Plan B’s of our life. Originally Mary thought her plan was Plan A and God’s was Plan B, but then she realized that hers was Plan B and God’s was Plan A. God’s plan was wiser, higher, and better than hers. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts then your thoughts, says the Lord.” --Isaiah 55:9
Mary believed God’s plan to save the world through Jesus would EVENTUALLY come to fruition and she would see the goodness of it. Until then she was willing to go on faith. Thirty-three years later she saw with her own eyes the wisdom of God’s plan. She saw the resurrected Christ.
Signing on to God’s plan is never easy and it means waiting in faith, perhaps for many years, until the wisdom of it is revealed. If we knew all that God knows and could see all that God sees, we would accept the Lord’s plan easily and there would be no need for faith. But since our knowledge is limited, accepting God’s plan will always take faith.
Are you in the midst of Plan B? Has life brought you a surprise and you are struggling to accept it? Remember, you are really in the middle of God’s Plan A. His plan is always good, right and wise. “For we know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.” --Romans 8:28
--Ken Shick, Interim Pastor