#34: God’s Wonderful Contrary Plan

#34: God’s Wonderful Contrary Plan

Merry Christmas! I pray you’re having a beautiful season of celebration!

In our current Wednesdays-In-the-Word series Knowing Jesus, we’ve been studying our way through Mark’s gospel. Today, we’re going to take a little jump back to a half-verse in Mark 6 and pause for a Christmas thought.

From childhood, we dream about what our lives will be like—what we’ll be, where we’ll live, who we’ll marry, and so on. Usually, our lives don’t turn out quite as we’d imagined. I’m confident that was true for Mary and for Joseph, neither of whom had anticipated that the Messiah would grow up in their home as a part of their family, with a host of joys and sorrows along the way.

Read Mark 6:3a. Then read Luke 1:26-38 and Matthew 1:18-23.

Mary undoubtedly thought she knew what her future held until one ordinary day a visit from the angel Gabriel changed everything. Joseph undoubtedly thought he knew what his future held until disturbing news from Mary seemed to ruin everything. For both, God’s wonderful plan would be quite contrary to their own. Their lives, their family, even the places they would call home (like Egypt! Mt. 2:13-15) would be completely changed.

Had their own plans been fulfilled, we would never have known their names. They would have grown up in obscurity, married and raised their family in a tiny town, and passed into eternity. But God saw a couple capable of providing a righteous home for His Son, and He issued a call. Each had an opportunity to say no. Each said yes—or in Mary’s words, “Let it be to me according to Your word.”

I’m confident neither ever dreamed that
• Mary’s first baby would be born in a Bethlehem barn, with a manger for a bed
• they would be responsible for raising God’s Son (keenly felt when Jesus was “lost” in Jerusalem; Lk. 2:41-51)
• the writings they knew as “the Scriptures” were to be fulfilled in their household, and a new chapter—or testament—opened
• at least two of their sons (James and Jude) would be deeply involved in God’s church, and would be inspired by God’s Spirit to write New Testament letters that would be read by millions.

Consider this:

Mary, Mary—
Quite contrary was God’s plan
from what you thought your life would be.
Mary, Mary—
No ordinary call was yours,
And it would take some time to see
that the yielded way was the best way.
Your choice that day was the finest you’d make.
When Gabriel came and called your name,
“Let it be unto me” was no mistake.
Yours would be the highest joy, yours the grieving tears.
“Let it be unto me” was music to God’s ears.

Mary, Mary—
Quite contrary was this plan
from what you thought your life would be.
No simple life
as a carpenter’s young wife
in a sleepy town in Galilee.
But the yielded way was the best way.
Your choice that day was the finest you’d make.
When Gabriel came and called your name,
“Let it be unto me” was no mistake,
And though there never would be another usual day,
The yielded way was the best way.

Your eyes saw your Son nailed to a tree
And your eyes will see Him in His majesty.
Not a shred of regret for what would never be—
Much to the contrary, Mary.

The yielded way was the best way.
Your choice that day was the finest you’d make.
When Gabriel came and called your name,
“Let it be unto me” was no mistake.
Yours would be the grieving tears, yours the highest joy—
Messiah Jesus was your baby boy.

Now, what about when my life takes an unexpected twist? Will I trust that the God who owns me is in control? That whether He caused or allowed a turn of events, He can and will use it for my good? Romans 8:28 promises exactly that: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Faith is believing—knowing—that God’s plan is better than our own, and that no matter where He leads us, it will be good! So when God’s plans are contrary to your own, know that they are also wonderful. You’ll never be sorry you said, “Let it be to me according to Your word.”

© Diane McLoud 2013
Mary, Mary words and music by Diane McLoud, © Diane McLoud 2013

One Comment on “#34: God’s Wonderful Contrary Plan

  1. Even though its Christmas you still took time to share. Thank you for this devotion on this wonderful Christmas morning. MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you and I really wish we could all be together for this day. Love you guys.

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