Unplanned

Pastor Ed Young - Lead Pastor of Fellowship Church
Ed Young

December 5, 2023

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Unplanned

Read

Luke 1:26b-29 “God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’ Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.”

Think

We often think of Mary, Jesus' mother, as a character in the story, but she was more than that—she was a teenager with dreams and plans. Instead of worrying about college exams or the latest smartphone, she looked forward to marrying Joseph in her little village and starting a family. She was planning a wedding; she was going about her daily business of doing chores. She wasn't the icon we see in all the church paintings or the statues in all the European cathedrals; she was just an ordinary teenage girl who heard from an angel.

Imagine the shock when an angel appeared, announcing that she was chosen to be the mother of the Messiah, pregnant by God himself. Amidst uncertainty and fear, Mary responded with a simple, "I am the Lord's servant. May everything you have said about me come true." She didn't choose this path and even admitted she was a nobody. But it was part of God's grand plan, a story being woven for her and all of us.

Perhaps you've experienced unexpected moments that shook your world. Maybe you're anxious about the future and feeling fearful. As Christians, there are times when we are called to respond like Mary—trusting God in ways we never imagined, especially in the face of the unplanned. We are all called to be "Christ-bearers." We are called to trust him as we go to work, clean the house, and train our kids.

Mary's obedience and surrender brought the salvation of mankind into the world. As we trust God and surrender to him, we will experience, as Mary did, God using us in miraculous ways.

Apply

Identify a situation where you face uncertainty or fear in your daily life. It could be a challenge at work, a personal relationship, or a decision about your future. Instead of letting anxiety take control, approach this situation with the mindset of surrender and trust, similar to Mary's response in the scripture.

Reflect on how you can let go of the need to control every aspect of this situation. Consider what steps you can take to actively trust in God’s plan, even if you can't see the entire path ahead. As you apply these principles, remember that, like Mary, embracing the unexpected can lead to growth and new opportunities. Your willingness to trust and surrender in the face of uncertainty can open doors to new paths and help grow your relationship with Jesus.

Pray

Heavenly Father, just as Mary embraced the unexpected, we come before you with open hearts. In moments of uncertainty and fear, help us to trust in your plan for our lives. We surrender our fears about the future, knowing that you hold our story in your hands. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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