“For nothing is impossible with God.” – Luke 1:37
I love the start of a new year. It’s a chance to begin again, to set fresh goals and make new plans for the months ahead.
As we make plans for 2008, whether financial or other types, let’s make sure that our plans are God’s plans. We can do so only by listening for his direction. But be forewarned. You may end up with a plan that seems unreasonable, impossible. Two such stories come from the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke. Note the very different responses of those who discovered God’s plans for their future.
When an angel told Zechariah that he and his wife, Elizabeth, would have a baby in their old age, Zechariah asked for some assurance that it was true. Because of his disbelief, he was temporarily made unable to speak (Luke 1:5-20). When an angel told Mary that she would have a baby as well, even though she was a virgin, she, too, wondered how it would happen. But hers was not a question of disbelief; it was an innocent expression of awe. “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary responded. “May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:26-38).
This time of year there are countless articles about setting goals to improve our friendships, finances, and fitness. All are worthy pursuits. But we’d be better off putting the apostle Paul’s overarching objective at the top of our list: “We make it our goal to please him” (2 Corinthians 5:9). That was Mary’s goal. It’s what enabled her to hear, accept, and become part of the most seemingly impossible, miraculous plan in the history of the world.
With hearts focused on pleasing God, let’s listen for the plan that he has for us this year. What do you hear? Does it seem unreasonable? Impossible? May it be.