Keeping a Countdown

Do you keep a countdown to Christmas Day?
When my boys were little, we made a paper chain and tore off a link every December morning. 
The days flew by!

Can you imagine Mary's countdown? 
The months, weeks and days leading to a baby's arrival are filled with 
joyful anticipation, especially when it's a firstborn child.
I can't begin to imagine the turmoil Mary had to endure when plans were made 
to travel to Bethlehem from Nazareth at the end of her time of waiting. 
Instead of counting down the last days of her pregnancy in a snug home, 
surrounded by light and safety, 
she found herself on crowded roads, searching for any sort of shelter. 

The details of the last days of her pregnancy and delivery were certainly 
not anything she could have imagined on 
that day when Gabriel made his announcement. 
But God's plan was divine, and the birth of His son was executed 
perfectly, although it may have seemed like a disaster to those involved.

You might find yourself in a similar situation this Christmas.
Maybe Christmas 2015 is NOTHING like what you hoped for. 
 I know I've felt like Mary might have, far from home, 
out of place, and nearly out of time. 

It is comforting to remember that the One who set the world in motion 
has a plan for us, just as He did for Mary.
 He sees each one of us, and is orchestrating events for the 
very greatest good; not a single pain is wasted in His grand design. 


Father God, thank you that my life is not a random series of events.
Help me to remember that you are in control of my circumstances 
because of my faith in Jesus Christ, your Son. I offer myself to you 
again, that I might be an agent of your grace and mercy in this world.
Shine the light of your love through me this Christmas.

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