You planned a great day of Christmas shopping. It would completely finish your list, when suddenly the tire begins to make a noise. Christmas shopping gets pushed to the back burner while you hurriedly drive to the tire store where you hope that tire is still under warranty.
Your child comes home from school and reminds you that the cookies you thought were for the school bake sale next week are actually supposed to be there tonight. Suddenly plans for a relaxed evening at home change to a frantic race to the store for supplies and a baking frenzy in the kitchen.
“Suddenlies" are not neatly packaged. They are not written on the family calendar or stored in our phone with pop-up reminders.
“Suddenlies" come, well, suddenly.
They interrupt our plans and take precedence over what was carefully penciled in and expected.
So how can “suddenlies" be a gift?
Every day we have twenty-four hours that somehow we have been led to believe belong to us. We plan and schedule. We carefully dole out times for work, preparations, special events, rehearsals, kids’ programs. We make our plans.
What we often forget is that God is the Master Planner. He is the One who actually holds the calendar in His hand. He is the one who knows exactly what we need on ours.
Long ago on a starry night a group of shepherds most likely thought that they had the night all figured out…watch the sheep. That was the agenda. It happened night after night. Oh, perhaps some predatory animal might have tried to breach their flock, but even that was expected from time to time. They were prepared for that.
But they were not prepared for what happened…suddenly.
Because, as those shepherds watched their flocks, an angel appeared.
Nope, didn’t see that one coming.
An angel appeared in the night sky and announced the biggest news they had ever heard. “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”
That was quite a revelation…but it wasn’t all.
Because suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven...”
No, that wasn’t on the schedule either.
When the heavenly host left, the shepherds had a new suddenly…head to Bethlehem to see this Child who was wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. It completely changed their plans. But oh, what a gift!
They got to have an encounter with the Savior of the World. It not only changed their plans, it changed their lives!
As we move through this Christmas season and things change suddenly, let’s try to look for the gift. What does God want to do in our lives…suddenly?