It’s all part of the plan, my strategy for party preparation.
Today is my oldest daughter’s birthday celebration with friends from school. She’s almost a Christmas baby, so we decided to plan something simple for a small group of friends earlier in December, and she was determined that it be at our house.
So, all week long I’ve glanced at the kitchen floor with juice spills and mystery splatter and thought….”If I mop you today, I’ll just have to do it again on Friday. Someone will surely spill as soon as you’re clean.”
And to the dust gathering on the television stand in the living room, I promised a wipe with a soft cloth Friday evening.
I interrupted my normal vacuuming schedule earlier in the week so that I could zoom through the house just hours before the party on Saturday morning.
This has been my strategy of preparation. Knowing as I do exactly when those first little knocks on our door will occur, I can target the precise moment when my house is the cleanest and shiniest and in most presentable shape.
Being prepared for visitors is no exact science, you know, and it’s even less so readying ourselves for God. Christmas, after all, focuses so much on preparation. The Jewish people, after waiting hundreds of years for the promised Messiah, the savior of their people–and the world— felt more than ready, perhaps even impatient, for His coming.
But they weren’t. Not really. So God sent a messenger, John the Baptist, who shouted out the news to prepare, get ready, make yourselves right before God because the Savior was coming.
Still, when Christ came, there was no room, no readiness. Instead there was debate and jealousy, hatred and power plays.
Only a few men and women willingly allowed God to interrupt their lives and their personal agendas in order to make room for His Glory. Only a few were ready for obedience.
Mary, bowing the head in submission, doing chores one second and carrying the Son of God in her womb the next.
Joseph, heeding the dreams God gave Him, marry this virgin with Child, take her to Egypt to save the baby from a murderous king, travel back home when King Herod had died.
Shepherds, tending sheep in the night, earning a living, toiling as usual, following the instructions of angels to a baby in a manger, worshiping, and spreading the news across the countryside.
Sages from the East journeying for years, far from their homes and their prominence and wealth in order to lay at the feet of a child gifts of honor and adoration.
Their readiness wasn’t that of twiddling their thumbs, idling their time so that at the slightest move of the Holy Spirit they could jump up in response to His command.
Instead, they were all busy, actively serving in their jobs and homes, doing the daily thing with faithfulness, attention, and care. And then God spoke.
An angel’s voice.
A heavenly choir.
A mysterious star.
And they laid it all aside to follow after God, wholeheartedly, passionately, abandoning everything in order to be present and part of His plan.
May we be so ready this season and every season for God’s movement. We don’t want to miss it! Even more than that, let us not be an obstruction or hindrance to the miraculous wonder of God.
Our Christmas verse for the week reminds us that God always knows the exact moment to move; His timing is relentlessly perfect. Let us, then, be expectant and ready to obey Him regardless of our plan or agenda or expectation.
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship (Galatians 4:4-5, NIV).
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2012 Heather King