I was reading in Luke 2. In verse 8 it starts by telling us that shepherds were visited in the middle of the night by an angel in the sky …AND the glory of the Lord….and the shepherds were terrified. (Understandably so!) The angel’s message was delivered, which turned out to be GOOD NEWS, and then even more angels came, and their proclamation was this:
Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
And this got me thinking….
Imagine if you were one of those shepherds. It would certainly be terrifying to have your normal, every day (or night) routine interrupted, severely, suddenly, without warning. And you can’t just ignore it – you must acknowledge it. It’s staring you right there in the face. And you can’t pretend that it didn’t happen, because it did – and it was a life-changing experience. Now…..whatcha gonna do about it?
Can you imagine what the conversation amongst the shepherds might have been like after the angels left? I would think if I were one of them, I’d been startled to say the least and a bit shaken up – and perhaps wondered if all my sheep were together and faring well? I might have even been a bit upset and angered by the rude interruption! the conversation could have sounded a bit like this:
This could affect my work! My sheep’s schedule has been interrupted! For goodness’ sake, what have I even done (good, bad or otherwise?) to cause ANGELS to visit me? What in the world is all of this about?!
The lesson lies in the part of the story that tells us what the shepherds chose to do. Their decision:
“Let us go to Bethlehem to see this thing that has happened, what the Lord has told us about.“
Instead of getting caught up in the chaos and camping there….they decided to break out of that trap, and GO in the direction they were being led. They embraced the interruption, and pursued the peace that was promised. This was an act of faith and trust in what God’s Word said! How inspiring!
I love this story for several reasons:
I can see my story in the shepherd’s story because things often happen to me that are startling, sudden and leave me shaken up. Now a main difference is that I have not been visibly visited by angels – but then again, scripture indicates that sometimes we are visited by angels and don’t know it. (Hebrews 13:2) 🙂 But I digress…
When I am visited with unsought and perhaps unwelcomed news, I have a choice, like the shepherds did. I can either stay in the chaos and confusion brought on by the unexpected event that has changed my normal, predictable life, OR….I can move on into the direction my life has taken, embracing the interruption and pursuing the peace that is promised.
Some verses about accepting God’s plan that encourage me when I need to hear truth and encouragement are:
in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’
Whatever you’re going through today, I encourage you to make the choice to not get caught up in the chaos, but through faith and confidence in God’s Word, pursue the peace that comes from trusting God in all circumstances.