Merry Christmas! I am taking a break the next two weeks to enjoy my family and the holiday season. In lieu of a new post, I invite you to read this one from last year. It’s one of my most popular holiday posts. Merry Christmas!

Many of us look for God’s plan for our lives. We seek doors that open easily and peace-filled hearts as we take steps forward. But is that what it always looks like?

God called Mary and reassured Joseph.I’m not saying those are bad things. I, too, delight when God’s instructions are clear. I like open doors and people in the right places with the right answers to help me move down the right path.

But if we think it always looks like that, we may have a problem.

Sometimes, even when we have peace in the moment, we must fight to keep trusting in God’s plan.

Sometimes, even when we heard God clearly, the path we must walk is not easy.

I think of a young Mary, betrothed to Joseph. Pregnant. And I wonder how many doors slammed in her face because of what people thought she had done. Yet we don’t question that she followed God’s plan.

I think of Joseph, father of a child born too soon after a rushed wedding. And I wonder how often he struggled to find peace underneath the questioning or condemning stares. Yet we don’t question that he too followed God’s plan.

What did their parents’ think? Siblings? Extended family? What did Joseph face as he walked away from so much of what he had built for his family to journey to Bethlehem, and then to Egypt, and then to Nazareth. What did Mary endure as she went to draw water each day? How many forbid their children from playing with boy Jesus?

What if God’s plan for you is counter to what your family desires?

Yes, you may have peace in the moment, but what about in the day-to-day living?

I’m not saying God won’t open doors, but how many of those openings will rely on the amount of your faith? How many times during His ministry years did Jesus say, “According to your faith it will be done?”

Merry ChristmasThis Christmas, I encourage you to stop and reflect on more than the baby in a manger. Consider more than God’s provision for your journey ahead. Consider the cost you face. And then step boldly into God’s plan.

Because He called Mary. He reassured Joseph. And we still talk about their faith and obedience today.

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