We have tremendously high expectations of Christmas. We want everything to be perfect. We have pictures in our minds of children playing, church choirs singing and people smiling and getting along. But too often it is not the way it is supposed to be, as the song says, “the most wonderful time of the year” and the “hap-happiest season of all.”
For many it will be a very difficult time because something has interrupted the joy. It may be sickness, death, divorce, loneliness or any combination of the above.
We look to the Christmas season to be a time of perfect peace, harmony and joy. But interruptions come at Christmas, how much more so this year when we are all trying to work out how we will do Christmas with family and friends.
Likewise, the first Christmas experienced an interruption. Because Jesus came and positioned Himself as the pivotal point of the whole of human history. Interruptions can happen at the best of times and the worst. Consider the timing of Joseph and Mary’s interruption.
They were engaged to be married. Like Christmas, an engagement is supposed to be a wonderous time. But it was during this time that an angel appeared to Mary and told her that she would miraculously, as a virgin, conceive and give birth to the Son of God.
What joyful news! Yet, what an interruption! How would she explain her pregnancy to Joseph? Would he believe her? Would he be willing to take on that responsibility?
We know how Joseph responded. He didn’t believe her. How could he? His plans for a happy home with the woman he loved were dashed before his eyes. His life, as well as hers, had been powerfully interrupted.
As much as he loved her and wanted to be with her, he felt the only course of action was to divorce her.
Interruptions can do that, make us believe that we have no choice and there is only one course of action
Yet because he was a good man, he did not want to harm her or even embarrass her. So he resolved to divorce her privately. This was Joseph’s human response to a powerful interruption. But what a mistake it would have been.
The key to handling an interruption is to get God’s take on it. When we encounter an interruption, whatever it may be, don’t react according to your own feelings and thoughts. Seek God’s direction.
Remember Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and He will make straight your paths.
Here are three words to remember when you encounter an interruption.
Prayer – The first thing to do when your life is interrupted is stop and pray. Pray for guidance. Pray for courage. Pray for help. When you look to God He will help you.
Perspective – Put the interruption in the proper perspective. How bad is it really? How long will it actually be important? What difference will it make in eternity?
Providence (Latin = Foresight) -Keep in mind that God, in His providence, is still in control of your life. Nothing can happen to you without the consent and notice of your Father. He still has all of the hairs on your head numbered. Matthew 10:30
God so knows His children that the very hairs on their head are numbered. Notice that the hairs are not counted but numbered.
Have you ever considered that God could do that kind of thing in your life? Not that you would be made the parents of the Son of God, but that God would take what seems to be an interruption, an unforeseen problem and use it to set your life on a new and better path.
Whatever interruption you may be enduring right now, why not look at it in a different light and ask:
‘God, are you using this to do something significant in my life?’
Father what is it you want me to learn?
Then begin to look for the great things He will do.
Whatever interruption you may be experiencing this Christmas, there is one thing we can all do:
Stop and give thanks to God for Jesus. And as you praise and thank God, even in the midst of difficult circumstances, something of the peace that Jesus came to bring will be yours.