December 06, 2021

Advent 2021 - When He's Early

 Devotion for the Week...

Welcome to the second week of Advent. This year's Advent devotions are focused on God's timing and last week we looked at the fulness of the time. This week we're going to look at when God is early.

Maybe I should clarify. God is never actually early, but He may seem to be early according to our timetable. Ah, there's a difference there, isn't there? His timetable is the right one, even when it looks to us like we're not ready for what He is asking or giving us.

Consider Mary. Luke 1:26-27 say, "God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David." Gabriel then says to her, "You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus" (v.31). Now, this was a bit confusing to Mary, as you can imagine, seeing as she knew for certain she was a virgin. Gabriel went on to explain how it would happen: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God" (v. 35).

Think about where Mary was before Gabriel appeared in front of her. She was engaged, ready to get married and start her life with Joseph. I'm sure she dreamed of having children someday, and likely hoped it would happen soon after her marriage, but she wasn't expecting it to happen that very day. Gabriel stood there telling her that yes, she would be a mother, just as she dreamed, but God was going to move the timetable up a bit.

Of course, by changing the timetable so that Mary got pregnant before she got married, this was also going to affect her reputation. Joseph married her right away (after his own angelic visit), but you can be sure there was talk about how quickly they married and suspicions that she was pregnant before the wedding. Gossip is one thing we can be sure happened just as much back then as it does today, considering how often the Bible speaks against it. How many snarky comments did Mary have to deal with from people who thought they knew the truth of her situation?

Did Mary feel ready for what God was asking of her? When Gabriel stood before her, telling her what was to come, did she feel like it was too early? We don't know, but we do know that she accepted the mission, so to speak. Her only recorded response was, "I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true" (v. 38).
What might we miss out on if we don't trust God's timing? |
What is our response when it seems God is early? Something we thought might happen someday or something God might ask of us someday, is now today. We can insist that we're not ready and it's not the right time or we can jump in with both feet like Mary did and accept that God's plan and His timing are perfect. Which will we choose? 

And how does our choice affect our future? What might we miss out on if we don't trust His timing?

1 comment:

  1. We so often think that we have a good idea of where we're going - but God sees the bigger picture (and only He know the plans that He has for us!)


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