Everyday there is always something to do—most days there are many things to do. A plan that must be accomplished. An agenda to be fulfilled.
The “to dos” of my life are commonly, like every.single.day, frustrated. Sentences I cannot finish because of insistent phone calls. Meals left to grow cold while I referee an argument. Buzzing washing machines and barking dogs require immediate attention. “Plans are made for the changing!” I chant, while my heart twists and knots about its frustrated self.
Most days it feels like I’m just waiting for the interruption. Wait for it…wait…keep waiting. Ah, here it comes…and so the story goes. Clogged sink on Thanksgiving. Yay! Sickness in December. Yay! Identity theft bills in January. Yay!
Humanity has long waged war with interruptions. Natural disasters. Wars. Sickness. Unexpected pregnancies—the ones we wish will come and don’t, and the ones we don’t even think to wish upon and do.
Like Mary, we are waiting for the accomplishment of our plans…marriage, family, an esteemed life, in that order. And like us, Mary is doing what she can to accomplish those plans. She’s kept herself pure. She’s presented herself as an honorable and worthy mate, securing her future by her betrothal to Joseph. I suspect she was practicing the cooking, cleaning, and acting rightly in all that would be expected of a good Jewish wife. Everything was going along perfectly fitted to the plan.
Until…we all know the story: The angel in the living room. The fear in the heart. The announcement that any other Mary, if she was anything like me, would have thought this was the worst good news she’d ever heard. But here’s the thing, “The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth” (Luke 1:26). God interrupted.
I don’t know if you ever have participated in an intervention. I have. The decibels of discomfort are off the scale. There’s the family waiting, looking like they will choke on the ball of apprehension lodged deeply in their throat. There’s the air, thick with uncertainty. There’s the entering of the one intervened upon, who can with just one look embody both outrageously shocked and not surprised at all. While the conversation rarely goes exactly like planned, one thing is a given: It will change everything.
There are words that interrupt; there are words that intervene. “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” Words that changed everything. Living, disrupting, life-giving words.
Mary’s lesser plans were interrupted by God’s intervention of His greater promises, love, and hope. Interruptions that come from the hand of God are never for our destruction, but for our good. His interventions in our lives will change everything for the better.
In God’s presence, interruptions become interventions. His love for us will see to it that it is for our good. Because of Christ, He says to each on us “You have found favor with God.”
As we continue the waiting for the Has Come and Coming again King, may we be reminded of the goodness hidden in God’s interruptions. We can wait with hope. We can wait with confidence.
Today, may we thank Him for His hope that has intervened in our despair. May you exchange the frustration of interrupted plans for the intervention of His merciful love.
Here are two ways for you to participate in the joy of Advent waiting:
1. Let the interruptions you experience today remind you of God’s intervention of hope. Use each opportunity to thank Him for the hope He has given us in Jesus.
2. Image-bear by interrupting someone with hope today. Just a phone call or delivering of cookies are great ways to remind someone that they are a “favored one,” Hope is on their side.