This week I have been thinking a lot about signs and unseen plans while homeschooling my girls. We have a window cling nativity scene in our classroom and the wise men have been on my heart. Their story honestly boggles my mind a bit. We often see them with their cute little camels and gold trinkets all beardy and velvety staring over the manger. But have you ever really thought about who they were and what got them there?
In truth, they were magi, (aka three dudes who practiced alchemy, magic, and studied the stars for signs). They weren’t believers in the God of Israel but they knew the prophecies from all major religions of their day and studied the stars for signs of them. Can you imagine their surprise when suddenly out of nowhere a new star appears over Isreal? I can just see them now, geeking out over this new star and reading all the dusty Jewish scrolls they had hidden in clay pots for signs of what it meant. Next thing you know, they were packing up all their magi things and journeying to find the new king the star foretold of. You know the next part, (King Herod telling them to report where this king was and then the camel and velvet robe bit in your nativity scene).
What came next though, was an often overlooked miracle. They entered Bethlemen all wise and magi-ish but upon seeing baby Jesus in the manger they defied King Herod, hurried home, and then eventually left their mysticism and were baptized for the glory of God.
All because they saw a sign they couldn’t ignore.
I remember several years ago when my Dad (who was a pastor) refused to do the wedding of a dear friend of my mom. My Dad was really really good at officiating weddings and he rarely said no to doing them (especially those of people close to him). This time, however, he just kept refusing to do the wedding, saying that God was telling him he had other plans for him that day.
Fast forward about a year to the exact date and time of said wedding and my family found itself in a church grieving the death of my mother. In the midst of the funeral, my Dad looked over at me and said, “Now I guess we know why I couldn’t do that wedding”. Whoa. Right then, in the midst of my grief and disbelief, I knew that God’s design for my life went way beyond imagining.
If He could orchestrate both the start of a marriage and the end of a life over year in advance surely He had plans for me.
This year, yet again, God’s plans for my life caught me off guard. He called my family to leave our beloved home in Oregon to move Montana for plans he hasn’t yet revealed. It has been the hardest thing we have ever done but it is already yielding fruit for both His glory and for us as a family. The journey has left us broken, humbled and stripped bare but we are already in awe of the people He is shaping us to be.
Follow Your Star
While most of us will never see a new star emerge in the sky I guarantee that all of us feel that voice inside nudging us to do something. That could look like a move across the country, or it could be something as simple as going to coffee with an old friend or even helping an overwhelmed mom with her kids while she tries on bras in Target.
I love the verse in Isaiah that says:
I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.
Isaiah 45:2 NIV
Friends, sometimes the way He goes before you is through nudging an overwhelmed woman just like you to step out of her comfort zone and be brave. He whispers, nudges, and even yells into the hearts of those He loves to go before and break down the mountains standing in His way.
So today I invite you to seek, listen, and follow your star whatever it may be. Don’t miss the chance to level somebody else’s mountain or break down the gates standing in the way of unseen glory.
And if there are no new stars in your telescope? Open that bible and read the stories of faithfulness spanning generations, He is in there, He is in you and your time will come. I promise.
I would love to hear your story and pray for you. Feel free to reach out if you need somebody to listen.