Today is the first Sunday in Advent. As is my custom, I will be writing a devotional each day between now and Christmas to help keep our hearts focused on Christ this holiday season. It is late . . . most of you will probably not read this until tomorrow . . . but I still wanted to get this post up. Even though I am just now sitting down to write, I have been thinking about this post all afternoon.
The Sunday after Thanksgiving (weather permitting) is the official “put up the outdoor Christmas lights” day at the Robinson household. After morning worship services and lunch with the family, I headed into the attic about 2:30 to get my supplies down and ready to go. Nearly 8 hours later, I finally have my lights up and functional.
Now, when you hear that it took me 8 hours to get my lights up, you probably are imagining that my house looks something like Clark Grizwald’s overblown bonanza in “Christmas Vacation.” The lights on my house, however, do not look anything like Sparky’s. They do not cover my roof, dance with music, or even twinkle. They are a very standard set of lights arranged in one horizontal line across my house front, with an illuminated wreath hanging on a post. So, what gives? Why the marathon light hanging?
A number of problems plagued me in my project:
- I am not very handy. Some men have an inherent knack for building things . . . however, I do not have that knack. If the task involves a tool, go ahead and plan on it taking me longer than it is supposed to.
- I did not enter today prepared for the project. The lights were all tangled in a pile in the attic, and I did not have a clear plan of attack for exactly where all the lights should go. This lack of planning stymied me early, and kept me from making quick work of project illumination.
- I did not have the proper hooks, hangers, and cords to actually get power to the lights once they were hung, so I made two separate trips to two separate stores to buy the right stuff.
- I am very easily distracted. I took an extended dinner break and watched a couple of episodes of “Phineas and Ferb” with Josh and Kimberly before resuming the task. Funny cartoon, but not efficient for my project!
As I was working on hanging these lights, I was thinking about God’s plan to illuminate the world through sending His Son. God’s plan to bring salvation through Jesus Christ did not suffer the same problems I had hanging lights today. For instance:
- God is omnipotent. There is nothing He cannot do. He does not lack the skill, power, or understanding to do anything He wants to do. He finishes everything right on time because nothing can slow Him down.
- God has had a plan from the very beginning. From the moment sin entered the world in Genesis 3, God was planning on sending His Son who would crush the head of the snake and deliver His people (Genesis 3:15).
- God has the whole world in His hands . . . He does not need any “stuff” from anyone else to make His plans come to pass.
- God is never distracted from developing His plans to fulfillment. God never forgets a promise; never takes a detour from what He intends.
By being the great God that He is, God was able to bring His salvation plan to pass at just the right time. Galatians 4:4-5 says it this way, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” Literally, this passage is telling us that Christmas came right on schedule under the providence of God.
Our plans are inadequate, always changing, many times under-equipped, etc. God’s plans are not that way. They are always well thought out, right on time, perfectly equipped, and strongly focused. Seeing the fulfillment of the prophecies related to Christ’s first coming show us that God’s plans are simply higher than ours, therefore, we can rest assured that His promises for our future will also come to pass right on time. This Christmas season, rest in the certainty of God’s promises on your account. He will illuminate them right on schedule.