Advent 2021 – Day 6

Surprise! Another day of Advent has come and another devotional thought awaits you here!

Thirty years ago, my family made plans to come to Pennsylvania for Christmas. My father and mother would drive up from Virginia, my brother David and his family planned to fly in from California, and my brother Robert would come too. The only person missing would be my oldest brother Richard who was serving as a missionary in Greece.

Gene and I prepared a surprise for Mom and Dad. As our Christmas gift to them, we bought tickets for Richard to fly in from Greece so he could complete the family gathering.

At the time, that trip felt like an unnecessary extravagance, but only later did we see in hindsight what God knew all along. That Christmas would be the last time our nuclear family was ever in one place. A year later, my mother Joan died unexpectedly. David was in hospital in California and unable to attend the funeral. How thankful I was that God gifted us with that last family reunion at Christmas!

Proverbs 16:1 says, “We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer.” We can plan, we can prepare, but ultimately, God is in control. His plans will always be bigger than our own.

What are your plans for the holidays? Be prepared for surprises, and not just the ones you plan!

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