The Faith of the Magi

I learned early on in our relationship that my husband is not a planner. Two weeks before our wedding, he still hadn’t bought his tie, and I lost my mind. I convinced myself that he didn’t really want to get married. After all, I had all the details perfectly planned and HE DIDN’T EVEN HAVE HIS TIE!!  But he wasn’t getting cold feet. Not in the least. He just hadn’t gotten around to buying his tie. He knew he still had time.

My husband is perfectly happy getting in the car with no idea of where we’re headed. On the most uncertain days we’ve faced, he has stuck to his motto – “We’ll figure it out.”  It drives me crazy. I’m a planner, to a fault. I have to know every detail and have a contingency plan for every possible scenario. I’m not interested in being spontaneous or going with the flow.  It drives him crazy.

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If we were traveling with the Magi and word spread that we would be taking a different route home, my husband would not be phased. I would start pacing the floor and he would say, “We’ll figure it out.” I would roll my eyes and continue pacing.

You see, I would have already known each place we would stop and rest for the night. I would have planned every meal. I would have researched all the camel refueling stations along the route. Go a different way? Impossible! We aren’t prepared! What about our plans???

My plans.

How many times have I been insistent about MY plan and forgotten that God’s plans are higher? How easily I forget that the whole world is His, that He numbers my days. And even though I’ve seen it time and time again, how quickly I forget that He works all things for our good.

I used to be first in line to take a leap of faith. I never worried about logistics. If I felt God was calling me to something, I ran toward it as fast as I could. But somewhere along the way, I got scared. I learned some hard lessons about what God promises and what He doesn’t. He doesn’t promise first world comforts, financial security, perfect health. He doesn’t promise that storms won’t come. On the contrary, the Bible makes it abundantly clear that storms WILL come. But He also promises that we won’t weather them alone. He promises to go through deep waters with us. He promises that His plans are good.

We’re in the process of making some big decisions about what the next chapter will look like for our family. I know we need to pray and wait for God’s leading – but I struggle with the feeling that we need a decision right away.  After all, I need time to plan! You can guess what my husband says about it.

There’s this line in scripture that many people probably don’t notice but has always stuck out to me. It’s Acts 9:6.  “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Most people probably read right through it – but for an obsessive planner, I just can’t get past it. Get up and go and THEN I’ll tell you the plan?  I can’t imagine hearing a command like that from Jesus. And yet, He asks us to have that kind of faith. The kind that follows without questioning – and trusts without fear. The kind of faith the Magi had, when they abandoned their plans and traveled a different way.

How different the story would be if they had not listened to God and instead returned to Herod, to tell him where to find Jesus.  They might not have known all the details of their journey – but they knew God and they trusted that His plan was perfect.

I need that kind of faith. The kind of faith that reminds me, as long as God is with us, we’ll figure it out.

After listening to the king, they went on their way.  And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.  Matthew 2:9-12

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