“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.” (Galatians 4:4, NKJV)
In just a few days, we will be celebrating Christmas. For some, it is only a secular holiday with an emphasis on decorations, gifts, family time, and parties. For others, the day holds the deeper meaning of celebrating when the long-anticipated Messiah came to earth.
A few years ago, I began a personal tradition that in the days leading up to Christmas I would reread the accounts of the nativity from the Gospels. I use this as a time to reflect on each of those who became part of the story—angels and shepherds, Anna and Simeon, Zechariah and Elizabeth, wise men and King Herod. And, of course, Mary and Joseph. I try to imagine each one’s thoughts and emotions as God’s plan began to unfold. Did they realize they had become part of the greatest story ever told?
As I meditate on these events, I feel a fresh appreciation for God’s intricate plan to bring us into relationship with Him. Nothing was left to chance. Galatians 4:4 tells us that the Savior of the world appeared “when the fullness of time had come.” In other words, when the time was right and everything was in perfect alignment to fulfill the many Messianic prophecies, it happened.
The first time God began to reveal His plan to us was in Genesis 3:15. “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” This was the first, but certainly not the last, prophecy of the One to come. Jesus fulfilled more than 300 Old Testament prophecies during His time on earth, too many to list here. Only a divine plan could bring so much flawlessly to pass. Among many other details, prophecy foretold:
- The place of His birth (Micah 5:2)
- The time of His birth (Daniel 9:25)
- The manner of His birth (Isaiah 7:14)
After the birth of Jesus and the young family’s return from Egypt, nothing is recorded except for an incident when Jesus was twelve years old and stayed behind at the Temple (Luke 2). The Bible is silent about His life until he was thirty years of age and began His ministry. It was all in God’s perfect time.
We do not always understand God’s timing, but we do know He will fulfill what He has promised. His plan is always perfect and perfectly executed. Be assured. God’s plan for your life will happen—when the time is right. Wait patiently and trust Him to bring to pass His promises to you.
“Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.’” (Isaiah 46:10, ESV)