But when the time had had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.   

Galatians 4:4-5 (NIV, 1984)

By now, I hope that we can all agree that Mark Lowry was not belittling Mary’s intelligence in his most beautiful song of the Christmas season. We should all be certain that, yes, Mary DID know that in kissing the face of her newborn she had “kissed the face of God.” Yes, she knew. Joseph knew. Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin, knew. In fact, the coming of Jesus was one of the worst kept secrets in all of human history. The Old Testament foretold His coming through impeccably accurate and highly detailed predictions of multiple prophets. 

As we now have the entirety of Scripture in our hands, we can see that Jesus’ arrival had come at the perfect time in history in order to fulfill the prophecies surrounding Him. The Old Testament spoke of His birth as eminent, yet we have some 400 years of silence between Malachi and Matthew (the Old and New Testaments)—certainly enough time to take its toll on those whose anticipation had begun to fade.

This points only to the consistency and genius of our God. His word points us to all the critical data we need to do the most important thing—trust Him completely with our todays as well as our tomorrows. Jesus left us with the words that He was going to prepare a place for us and that He would return for us at His appointed time. More than 2000 years have passed since His return to heaven and, while theologians debate the eschatological importance of current events, those who trust His word are content to simply believe that He will return when the Father says it is time.

Our faith was born through the Gospel, but our trust in Him has been refined through those moments when we felt His presence and watched Him accomplish what He, and only He, could do—exactly when we needed Him. As it was in the Nativity, our lives continue to bear witness to God’s perfect timing.