On my first Christmas away from my family, I was excited to create my very own Christmas memories. My folks had given me an old artificial tree and decorations, so my apartment was looking and feeling very festive. My coworkers had planned a potluck Christmas breakfast at work, and I was excited to attend. I heard a deafening boom that shook the house and ran out of my room in fear as I got ready that morning. Thinking it was just lightning and thunder from the overnight storm, I went back to getting ready and prepared to leave for breakfast.
As I walked out the front door of my two-flat apartment house, I discovered snow-covered tree branches blocking the front steps. I could not even walk down the steps to see what had happened. I called the landlord who lived in the apartment below to tell him about the branches.
When the sun came out, we could see the full extent of the situation. The loud boom that I thought was thunder was the tree across the street from my apartment house cracking apart, with the main portion of the tree trunk landing smack square on the roof of my brand new car. The rest of the day was filled with hearing chainsaws as the city removed the tree from my car and the street. By the time everything was removed, I saw my pitiful car. The roof was smashed entirely, and all the windows and doors were blown out.
At the end of the day, I was emotionally exhausted. My roommate made some tea, and we sat in the dark, sipping tea and admiring the lighted Christmas tree I had decorated. I just felt relaxed when the tree started to lean forward, and then without warning, it fell utterly face forward onto the floor. We both sat there stunned as if it was a scene from a movie. My roommate started to laugh. I guess this was the day for 'falling trees". What were the odds of two trees falling in one day to mess up my first Christmas on my own?
Life is full of interrupted and failed plans. Who better to remind us of this than Mary and Joseph. The engagement didn’t go as planned. The birth didn’t go as planned. And certainly, the next few years didn’t go as planned as they moved from country to country trying to keep their son alive. But the story of their failed plans wasn't a disaster because God had a different plan which required them to trust Him.
When I look back at my interrupted plans that Christmas, I am reminded of how God worked everything out for my good and set me on a path of trusting Him with my life, just as He did with Mary and Joseph. And I learned to decorate the whole Christmas tree instead of just the front – no more falling Christmas trees!
As we celebrate Jesus' birth, friends, let's remember how much His parents trusted God with their interrupted plans. Just think what God can do with your interrupted plans.
The Small Town Girl