ALL THINGS

BY: GREG ST. CYR

In September I spent time pondering what the Lord would want to say to us this Christmas season. My mind was on the reality that our world seems to be spinning out of control: hurricane Ida, wildfires in California, COVID variants, Afghanistan, terrorism, $28T in national debt, racial justice issues, an ever-widening political divide, environmental issues, inflation -the list goes on. Then add health issues like the rise of mental health, substance abuse, cancer and heart disease. The inevitable conclusion is that everything seems to be out of control.

But that last statement is simply NOT true. Though everything around us might shout everything is out of control, God has something else to say about the matter:

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good.” - Romans 8:28

“All things.” Reflect on those two simple words: “All things.” During our Advent season we’ll be reminded that God is absolutely and totally sovereign over all things.

We, by nature, do not like feeling out of control. A lack of control leads us down the pathway of anxiety and disappointment. Peace is vanquished and worry overwhelms our emotions. What we forget is that God is sovereign over all things. Therefore, we can dwell securely in His hands.

700 years before the birth of Christ, God’s people lived in a time in which social injustice abounded. Prophets preached for riches. Priests ministered for greed. Landlords swindled the poor. Judges took bribes. Business people used deceitful scales. There was the constant threat of war and plagues. Where was God in all this? The prophet Micah declared a message that God has a plan even when life doesn’t seem fair – a plan that brings hope out of despair. A plan that revolves around a Person who will come as the Divine Deliverer and be our source of security.

Sometimes things happen for us that are disappointing or didn’t turn out the way we hoped. Disappointment in life easily leads us to doubt God. “Why God? Are you there? Don’t you care?”

Meet a godly elderly couple who was heartbroken. Their prayer had long gone unanswered. For decades Elizabeth and Zacharias had pleaded with their Lord for a child. Yet the God who is sovereign over all things had a different plan – a plan that would involve the forerunner who would herald the coming of the Messiah!

One of the most important lessons you and I must learn is to trust God to guide our feet in the midst of disappointment. When our hopes and dreams go unrealized, God has a way of making all things work together for good. It’s who He is. His plans always bring Him greater glory because He is the God of all things.

Now let me introduce you to two righteous and godly people: Joseph and Mary. Raised in the line of David to follow the Lord, they sought to honor God with their lives. While betrothed to each other, suddenly and unexpectedly, everything changed. The angel Gabriel burst onto the scene to inform Mary that she will conceive and bear the Savior of the world. As Joseph struggles and grapples with Mary’s pregnancy, his plans are turned upside down. Into this confusion, Gabriel explains that the impossible has been made possible. Mary has conceived by the Holy Spirit and the Child is Immanuel, God with us.

God’s plan is the road less traveled. It’s never the easy plan. What plagues Joseph and Mary is shame, accusations of immorality, rejection, and the threat of stoning. The Pharisees will later accuse Jesus of being “born of fornication.” But God had a better plan. A plan for Joseph and Mary to birth and parent our Lord Jesus Christ. The impossible is made possible because God rules over all things.

God is also never early and never late. He is always right on time. He is in control of all things, including time. The birth of Jesus was perfect timing.
 
In the midst of waiting on God’s timing, we become impatient and take matters into our own hands. We strive to manipulate our circumstances to get what we want. Whenever we get ahead or lag behind God, the result is always disastrous because we lack the faith that God’s timing is always the best.

During the wait, God is readying the circumstances. Caesar is on the throne. Quirinius is governor. A common language is spoken. Roads have been built to advance the gospel. The Jewish people are anticipating the coming Messiah. A census is set to be taken. The fullness of time has come.

But hold on. Surely the timing is off for Joseph and Mary. She’s in her ninth month. No way can she travel seven days to Bethlehem. To make matters worse, after the long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, they arrive to find no place to stay! The timing makes no sense. And yet, it is absolutely perfect. The Son of God is born in a stable and placed in a manger. Angels sing. Shepherds bow down. Magi travel to worship. Infinity takes on finitude. Deity enveloped in humanity. Though the timing seemed horribly off, the God of time was right on time. Why? Because He reigns over all things.

All things. Two simple yet profound words. Words that enable those who love Him to dwell securely, have their feet guided, experience the impossible made possible, and find out that His timing is always right on time. Why? Because He is God and there is no other. He is the God of all things!