December 5, 2022

When God’s Plan is Different From Our Plans

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.” Luke 1:31


God sent Gabriel to the virgin Mary to prepare her for what He was about to do. This young Jewish woman was full of plans for her future as Joseph’s wife. So she must have been alarmed by the news that she would soon have a son. This was definitely not in her plan. Yet, Mary sets the perfect example of how to respond when God’s plan is different from our plans.


Mary’s question, “How?” is based in confusion rather than doubt. Gabriel not only answered her question, but gave her an ally in her older cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s pregnancy illustrates that nothing is impossible with God (vv34-36). And by the end of the conversation, Mary is in complete submission to God’s will. Behold, the bond slave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word (v38).


Would it be a challenge? Of course. But Mary had chosen to be a servant of the Lord. Her position before God was decided and she held fast to her commitment, regardless of the consequences. That’s what a servant of God does. Her faith allowed her to put her personal plans and desires aside and embrace God’s plan for her life.


You see, Mary didn’t just know about God; she knew God. He is wise, all powerful, and always fulfills His promises. God also knew Mary. That’s why He entrusted her with His gift to mankind. Isn’t it amazing that He uses ordinary human beings to accomplish His plans—both then and now?


Has God allowed something unexpected in your life? You can ask God questions without questioning God’s character. What can He accomplish if you embrace this change in plans? Mary’s story assures us that God’s blessing and presence always accompany God’s plan. His will is better than the best plan you could possibly map out for yourself. He never disappoints those who trust Him.


Father, your ways sometimes confound us mortals. But I rejoice that You have the power to keep Your promises. Because of who You are, I will trust You when you put me in a place I did not choose. Although it may require an adjustment in my plans and dreams, Your will is always best. Like Mary, I am Your servant. Nothing is impossible for You.