Young people dream. They dream about whom they are going to marry one day. They painstakingly try to decide what they want to be when they grow up. Some map out their entire lives: where they will go to college, what they will study, whom they will marry – even how many children they will have.
Think back to when you were a teenager. Has your life turned out the way you planned it when you were 15 years old?
The Scottish poet, Robert Burns, once wrote: “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” In other words, things don’t always work out the way we plan them.
Many years ago, a young Jewish girl had plans for her life. She was about 14 or 15 years old. She was in love. She dreamt of what her life would be like with her future husband. She wondered and maybe even planned how many children they would have together.
But then plans changed.
An angel appeared to her. He told her she was going to have a baby. But wait. That’s good news, right?
Not in Mary’s day. She was going to be a single, teenage mother. Even today that is difficult. In Mary’s day, however, if a young woman became pregnant out of wedlock, her family would shun her. Society would ostracize her. She could have been stoned to death.
What would you do if your teenage daughter came to you and said: “Mom, dad, I’m pregnant, but don’t worry, I didn’t have sex with my boyfriend; an angel appeared to me and told me I was going to have a baby”?
Nobody would believe her. What was Joseph supposed to think? The only logical explanation was that she had cheated on him.
The news that she was going to have a baby meant that Mary could lose everything. All the plans she had made for her life had gone awry.
So how did Mary react? Did she respond like a typical teenager, slamming her bedroom door screaming, “That’s not fair”?
No. She said to the angel, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38). Basically she was saying, “Lord, take my body and life and do with me as you see fit. I trust you.”
Mary trusted God’s plans, and so can you.
God had plans for Mary. The baby in her belly was no ordinary baby. He was God himself. He was her Savior from sin.
God’s plans for Mary wouldn’t be easy, however. She wouldn’t always understand her son or why God sent him. She would have to watch him be brutally butchered before her very eyes. Yet, God’s plans were for her good. By his death, her son would wash away all her sin and win for her a home in heaven.
God’s plans are always good. Trust that, even when things don’t work out how you planned them – even when you don’t understand why God is doing what he is doing. His plans end up with you in heaven.
The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, but God’s plans never do.