There are times when a page of your life turns, and you discover that a whole new chapter is opening up.
But what if, instead of a new chapter of the same story, you unexpectedly find yourself in a brand new story—one that you had no idea was waiting for you?
Such are the “suddenlies” of God.
The New Testament begins with a series of unexpected announcements—sudden, Divine interruptions that change the lives of individuals forever. The lives of Mary, Joseph, Zechariah and others encourage us, as we encounter our own “suddenlies” from God.
Here are four principles from the Christmas story that you can embrace when your own life takes an unexpected turn:
1. God is not Taken by Surprise
As the ageing Zechariah goes about his priestly duties in the temple, an angel suddenly appears by the altar of incense. In this moment of Divine interruption, the angel has a personal message for Zechariah; he is about to become a father. (Luke 1:5-25)
For Zechariah, it is a point of no return. From now on, he and his wife Elizabeth are caught up in the unfolding story of God’s salvation. Their son will be known as John the Baptist.
You may have been taken by surprise, but you can rest in knowing that your Father has the eternal perspective on your situation – and He is trustworthy. He has felt your pain, He has seen your waiting, and He has been at work in the background, orchestrating His answers on your behalf. In times ahead, you will realize what God has been up to all along.
2. Your Father has Already Provided for What is Ahead
Zechariah’s wife Elizabeth is 6 months pregnant when the next ‘suddenly’ occurs. The angel Gabriel is sent by God to a young woman named Mary. To Mary is given the extraordinary honour of giving birth to the Messiah, Jesus. (Luke 1:26-38)
This ‘suddenly’ of God comes with unique challenges, for Mary is an unwed virgin.
However, God has already provided for Mary’s needs ahead of time. He has prepared a husband and protector—Joseph—and places for them to shelter and live. Even now, God’s call is on a group of wise men. He is orchestrating their movements, along with the gifts and provision they will bring with them.
Have you experienced a “suddenly?” Know that you Father already knows what you need and has provided by His Word ahead of time. Where God guides, He truly provides. No need is to small or too great for the hand of God as you step forward into your new era.
3. Your Savior is About to be Revealed.
“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:13-14)
Shepherds are in the fields, watching over their flocks of sheep when God interrupts their status quo with a startling announcement.
In your new season, you will find yourself astonished at what is taking place. But you will look upon the face of the One who loves you. You will know His redeeming power in your life, as never before.
4. There is a New Normal.
The words “do not be afraid” come up time and time again in the Christmas narrative—to Zechariah, to Mary, to the shepherds and to Joseph. God’s suddenlies can be startling. Unnerving. There are supernatural confrontations. There is prophecy.
The old has gone, the new has come.
Now, there is a “new normal”. Life will never be the same.
“Do not be afraid.” Hear it for yourself, and be reassured.
Your Father is at work, Holy Spirit is moving on your behalf, and a revelation of the goodness of God at work in your life is up ahead—for your Father is good.
© 2016-2019 Helen Calder, Enliven Blog
Enliven Ministries: In the David McCracken Ministries family