By Lynette Kittle, Crosswalk.com
When Life Takes a Drastic Turn
By Lynette Kittle
“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register”—Luke 2:1-3
As the holidays roll around this year, we may be finding ourselves in places we didn’t ever dream of being, doing work we didn’t plan on or ever want to do, feeling down and discouraged at where life has led us. How many of us planned and imagined our lives going in a specific direction, then suddenly and unexpectedly, we experienced our lives taking an unplanned turn?
Lately, unexpected job losses and business closures have thrown many of us for a loop, interfering with the goals we have been working towards for years, as well as shutting down the routes we were taking to get there. Suddenly, the direction many of us thought we were headed toward was closed, rerouted, and dramatically turned upside down toward another direction.
The First Christmas
The First Christmas is a story of a couple whose plans in life were drastically redirected. Luke 2:4,5 explains, “So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.”
Both Mary and Joseph found themselves in an unexpected situation at an inconvenient time, headed toward an unplanned destination. Being pregnant and unwed on an unforeseen journey most likely was not how they had hoped their life would begin together. Although both had the benefit of angelic visitations offering them direction and some understanding of the rerouting in their lives, it’s still a lot to process, even when willing to step out and go wherever God leads.
Best Plans Rerouted
Just like the government turned Joseph and Mary’s plans upside down by decreeing a census, there are authorities over us at times when it is outside our control to ignore, dictating the direction we must take at various times in our lives. As with Mary and Joseph, it seems in those times that higher authorities are having the final say in our plans. Yet God is often the One behind the path we have been directed to take. Like them, although it may have seemed like others were in control of their lives, behind it all was God’s will and His plan taking place and being accomplished.
Who Is Really Behind Our Redirection?
Although we like to believe we are the ones in charge of our lives, our steps are really not our own, as Proverbs 16:9 explains. “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”
Like Mary and Joseph’s lives, it may feel at times like our whole world has been turned upside down, too. Whereas we may have envisioned ourselves doing things we always dreamed about doing, instead, we are working at a job that wasn’t even on our radar. Maybe we had high hopes of a house on the lake or a mountain cabin but find ourselves living in the most affordable location just to make ends meet and get by each month.
During times in our lives when it seems the direction we intended to take is being rerouted by outside influences and pressures, we want to step back and consider if, possibly, it’s really God changing our direction.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
Where do you find yourself today? Are you right on track for the direction you planned on taking? Or, does it feel like life has led you astray, off in a different pathway than you had hoped or expected? No matter your current situation, ask God to reveal His will to you, the purposes behind your current track, and to show you where He is leading you in your life.
Finding God’s Direction in Your Life
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Boonyachoat
Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, StartMarriageRight.com, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.