The Best Laid Plans

Christmas can be hectic. Especially for my family. There is program planning, tons of parties, practices, plowing and whatnot that we get lost in the shuffle often and are not able to relax at all during the holiday season. This one has not been an exception either…. up until now, that is.

Our Christmas Cantata this year was going to be special. Stephen and I wanted to do something different. We wanted something that would really capture the true spirit of this season. We wanted the cantata to be the fruits of a deeper reflection on what Christ’s birth means. We wanted to help our church become more of a family.

So, I planned. I delegated. Tables were set. Chairs were brought in. Sign up sheets were filled to capacity. This year’s cantata was going to be a full house. Help was assigned. The sound system was set up. Everything was ready to go. We were prepared to share the good news of Christ’s birth.

Then it happened.

It snowed. No, it didn’t just snow… we had blizzard warnings. On Sunday. That meant half the choir was gone. Half the orchestra was unable to come. Most of our church family and their guests could not make it in such conditions. We had nada. And it was a gift.

Proverbs tells us that we can make plans, but their fruition is only of the Lord. And despite our plans, which were vast, the Lord decided to bring snow instead. In that snow, He brought a lesson: slow down.

In Psalm 46:10, God command us, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

As I have thought on this verse and others, the thought has occurred that this season is meant for celebration, yes. But does it have to be so full that we don’t have time for reflection too? Christ was born in a barn, in a very humble place. While I am sure there was some noise from animals and all, it didn’t have the same fanfare as would have been had he been born in the palace in Jerusalem. God’s intention was a quiet, humble birth. So, do we necessarily need a noisy celebration? The answer I come to as I dwell on Scripture is: not always.

We think worth comes through fanfare and noise. I think God is most glorified through humility and quiet.

As far as our evangelistic outreach goes, I think God gave us a good reminder with the snow storm: He doesn’t need us for His Word to go forth. Don’t get me wrong, He wants to use us to bring people to Himself. We are part of His plan. But He can do it without our gimmicks. He just wants people with willing hearts. And He can save people despite what we do or do not do.

Back to Sunday now. Stephen had to plow in the morning, but he was able to spend the rest of the day with his family. Right now, that is a luxury in this house. We stayed in our pajamas, had a wonderful meal, played, laughed, snuggled, wrestled, napped… it was great. It was restful. It was a gift from the Lord, truly. A day of rest to prepare for the rest of the holiday season.

Have you been so busy that you haven’t had time to reflect? Has your family been pushed to the side a little because of all your plans for celebrating Christ’s birth? I found a website for busy moms, and in it she has a Christmas challenge to focus our hearts and minds back on Christ. It involves rest and slowing things down. Check it out if you get a chance.

That’s all for now.

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