We run our lives on railway tracks of hope and expectation. We make our plans, and then build them, rail by rail, sleeper beam by sleeper beam. We weld them together in the direction of what we feel will make us happy, give us meaning, give us security, provide for our family. And we ride the rails in the direction of all our plans laid down. Lulled by the motion. Carried along.
Joseph had plans. He’d been faithful to the law. He’d worked hard at his trade. He thought he knew where his life was headed. He’d had it all mapped out. His railway track was all laid out. A beautiful fiancé, a family, a home. He’d had plans.
And then this.
Gutting disappointment. A life de-railed.
‘Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant…’
And so he began to rebuild his plans within the realm of all he could see. Righteous plans based on all that was visible to him.
‘Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.’
He had in mind to divorce her quietly because his mind did not yet comprehend the plans and purposes of God.
It’s hard for human minds to comprehend the mind of God. Our eyes do not see all there is to see. We need help sometimes, to see.
‘ But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’
God peels back the corner of Joseph’s small reality and Heaven’s heart seeps in to time, helping him to see. More.
We all have assumptions about how the world works, and where our lives are headed in it, the train tracks we are on. None of these assumptions are ever fully the whole picture, but they can limit the borders of our whole world if we live unquestionably within them.
What if God is outside of our field of vision? And what if He is calling us to join Him there? In a reality larger than our human plans laid down.
Faith is not a feeling, synonym for religion, a social grouping or an ideology. Faith is seeing. And sometimes faith is knowing that all we see is all we see in part. Faith is seeing that there is a bigger story at work than our human eyes can see.
God’s plans for Joseph included all he hoped for: A wife, a family, children. But there was also so much more. Joseph had planned to be a father one day. God planned for Joseph to be the adoptive father of God incarnate. Joseph had planned to have a home. God planned to live within Joseph’s Home. Joseph had planned to have a family with Mary. God had planned to join their family.
God called Joseph to allow Heaven to move into his home, share his meals and even his bed. To allow God incarnate to shelter under his roof, warm at his fire and help around the house.
God’s plans were more. When God peels back the corner of our small reality and Heaven’s heart seeps in to time, we see more. We live more. We discover more of all we’ve been longing for all along. He is always more.
‘My plans aren’t your plans,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my plans than your plans.’
Isaiah 55:8-9 CEB
When heaven seeps into our plans, sometimes our plans are derailed and sometimes our tracks are changed in surprising ways but always our direction becomes more than anything we could have imagined.
God is on the move. Heading somewhere. Jesus called His disciples by saying ‘follow me’ because He had plans. Plans to restore this broken world with love.
What does it look like for you to let Heaven seep into your plans today?