Have you ever had something odd happen to you? Something that you didn’t plan for, not necessarily good or bad, just unexpected? There have been times where I’ve been out to eat and when the bill came, the waiter or waitress came over and told us that our meal had been paid for (interestingly, this is almost always correlated with praying before our meal and someone commenting on the unexpected witness of that).
There have been other times when I’ve been given an unexpected gift. It wasn’t Christmas or a birthday, but someone simply wanted to be a blessing and gave an unexpected gift.
Then there was that time driving through Canada where I was driving like I would in America, following behind a semi, and I got pulled over unexpectedly for driving through a light that was very much yellow (I in fact never even saw it turn red, because I had already gotten through the intersection!). But this was an unexpectedly expensive experience.
The Christmas story itself is unexpected. Especially for Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus. An angel came to her unexpectedly, and she was “greatly troubled,” as the Bible records. But then, Luke 1:30 records this:
“But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.”
It’s intriguing, isn’t it? An angel just showed up and started talking to you! What in the world?? It’s freaky and unexpected, of course we’d be afraid and nervous and uncertain of what to do!
The first thing we seem to do when something doesn’t make sense to us is to be afraid, or nervous, or overwhelmed… why is that?
God’s encouragement through the angel here to Mary is that even though she doesn’t understand, she doesn’t have the “why,” she has the “Who.” That is enough.
We may not always know the why or the how of something, but we can always know the Who that is on our side, guiding and encouraging and shepherding us. So today, or tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year, when the unexpected happens, don’t go right to fear, but instead go right to faith. God is in control. Rest in Him. Don’t get stuck on the why or the how, but put focus on the Who. It’s all about bringing glory and honor to God.