By Susan Hutchens
And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Luke 1:46-47
Are you living the life you planned? The past year in my life brought some changes which included an international move, a change in my life roles, some delays and disappointments, and a time of forced inactivity after a minor accident. Life looks quite different now than it did just two years ago! Maybe your life story looks different right now too.
Is it possible to find joy when life turns out differently than we had planned?
We have to admit that Mary, Jesus’ mother, found herself living a life story she hadn’t planned. She had been happily preparing for marriage and a simple life as a Jewish carpenter’s wife when she learned that she would bear Israel’s promised Messiah. Talk about a change of plans! Having an unexpected child at an unexpected time, facing community shaming and possible rejection by her future husband were not easy things to face, but there was no doubt that God had introduced these changes to her life.
How did Mary respond?
“And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour” Luke 1:46-47.
She found joy in her unexpected circumstances! How can we find joy in seasons of change?
Look for joy! We find joy in God’s presence (Psalm 16:11). Stay faithful in your time with the Lord. Don’t let the most needful thing slip.
Ask for joy! Ask God to allow you to have joy in these circumstances (Psalm 51:8). Ask Him for joy and gladness.
Choose joy! Choose to have joy because you love and trust God (Psalm 5:11). Decide that you will be joyful in His plan.
Express joy! Give God the glory for your joy (Psalm 32:11). Speak to others about what God is doing in your life and the joy you’ve found.
What are you facing that has brought change to your life? What will you do today to find joy in the story you’re living?
“Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought life would be like and learn to find joy in the story you are actually living.” - Rachel Marie Martin
**Find more joy devotionals in our Joy: A 31-Day Devotional**