Interruptions. No one likes them. They interfere with our plans and cause us to do something we didn’t want to do instead of what we planned to do. Sometimes we respond with patience, but more usually with annoyance, even if we don’t always show it. At this time of the year, when we are so busy with Christmas preparations, we have even less tolerance for interruptions, even small ones.
It’s hard to imagine what Mary and Joseph felt when their plans for a quiet family wedding went out the window that first Christmas so many years ago. The whole direction of their lives was interrupted by Mary’s pregnancy before they were married. God never asked their opinion; He just turned their lives in a totally different direction. Were they resentful? Afraid? Panicked? Did they complain? Question? Doubt? Despite how they felt, they responded in trust to God Who was in charge of their lives and in control of their future. They trusted Him and kept their eyes on Him through it all.
God interrupted our nicely planned lives one Christmas 20+ years ago when we found we would be having a baby when our youngest of four was 9 years old. Life was settling down. We could leave the children alone when we went for a run or shopping together. We were starting to have a ‘life.’ Nancy was near 40 and I was near 50. Starting over with little ones was not what we had planned, but God did. By the way, that little interruption in our lives turned out to be one of God’s greatest blessings to us – Grace and, 13 months later, Mark. Mary and Joseph’s interruption was a blessing from God as well.
In India God seems to change our plans quite regularly: a service interrupted by a screaming mother carrying a convulsing infant, a demonically influenced women yelling at me to stop talking about Jesus, the death of Moses’ mother in the midst of our busy conference schedule, plane schedules changing or cancelled, illnesses, cancellations, etc., etc., etc.
If you think God isn’t fair or doesn’t understand your interruptions, remember His time in heaven was interrupted by our sin so He left heaven and all its glory to come to earth as one of us to be rejected, tortured and killed for no fault of His own. Christmas was the start of a major interruption for Him as well, yet He did it for us. He does know what it is like. He does understand.
We all face interruptions. It’s how we respond that is important. How do you usually respond when interrupted? What if God was behind it, and was doing it for a good reason? What if God needed you to do something unplanned because He knew it was best for your growth and His glory? Would knowing that make any difference in how you responded? If you put your faith in Jesus and trust Him to lead you, if your desire is to serve Him and be used by Him, than any interruption, no matter how large or small, is from Him. Treat it as such. December 3, 2015 Doylestown, PA)
Luke 1:38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
How have you responded to the interruptions God has allowed in your life over the years? How are you doing with them this holiday season? Little interruptions are training for larger interruptions. Would you be happier if God never overrode your plans for something of greater importance in His will? Do you really want to do just what you want and not be available for opportunities to stretch and grow which He may provide? Talk to Him about how you have been handling His interruptions in your schedule and allow Him to do what He alone knows is best for you now and in the future.