“The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you will name him Jesus.”
—Luke 1:30-31 (NRSV)
I was thinking about Mary as I read this passage and her journey after she found out she was pregnant with Jesus. I was thinking of my own pregnancies. Each were different and none of them went exactly as I had planned. I had planned to be super healthy each one. But inevitably I had cravings. I had planned to not get sick each one (not that I am remotely in control of this). Each one I got sick and the last one was the worst! I had plans for how I would give birth. Not one of those went as planned as well and were all very different from each other. Adam, my husband, also had plans. He had planned to not get grossed out each time I got sick. He had planned to not break his wrist a week before we had our last baby.
I wonder if Mary’s pregnancy went as she had planned. Certainly it was not in her plans to have a baby out of wedlock. Certainly it was probably not in her plans to have her first baby be the Son of God who she would eventually watch be put to death for all human kind so that we might have life to the full. So I would imagine her pregnancy didn’t go as planned as well. I assume, also, that having this baby in a manger was not in Mary and Joseph’s plans.
I am a planner. I really am. And so when things don’t go as planned, it throws me off.
But. God had a plan for Mary. That’s why God sent the angel. To tell her of His plan. Thankfully she said yes! I am so sure that this plan gave Mary a lot of joy. Babies bring joy. Watching our children grow up gives us joy. Probably watching Jesus serve others, teach, and love gave her joy. Ultimately knowing that God had a plan through it all gives joy.
I am a planner. Lately it’s been really hard to do that. I know you all can relate. I basically didn’t use my fancy planner I bought at the end of 2019 for 2020 for 8 or 9 months. I didn’t like that.
But. I find a sense of peace, yes, but joy in the fact that God has a plan here. God didn’t will all of what was 2020 to happen. But God brings good out of bad and hardships. God has a plan here. In that we can find joy. In God you can have joy.
Nichole is an ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene. She wrote the 2020 Advent Devotionals for Generations Community Church, which were published online on the original devotion.al site, which has since been incorporated into Encounter (this site).