“If you had slept in the same house or field with Jesus, awakened with him, eaten with him and helped him, what would you have observed? One thing we always think of is that Jesus gave himself almost entirely to what we would consider interruptions. Most of the teaching, healing and wonders we see in his life were responsive…seemingly unplanned. He trusted that what the Father allowed to cross his path was exactly that…from the Father. Jesus always seemed willing for things to get messy” ― Marcia Lebhar
This last month my usual schedule came to a halt when some unexpected things came up in my life. The usual weekly routine came second to the issues at hand and my focus was directed more toward the problem at hand! Sadly, I don’t always handle these interruptions in my life correctly. I often react with frustration, stress, and worry. “How much money will this cost?” “God I can’t handle this!” Often doubting the intent of these situations and why God allows them to happen.
Though these interruptions are unexpected and catch me off guard, they do not catch God off guard. They are not random, meaningless events. In fact, these interruptions are divinely placed in my path for a reason. God uses these interruptions to change me to be more like Christ. Stressing out and being irritated is only a waste of precious time. In these recent weeks I was reminded to stop and listen to God, rather than to doubt him. I was reminded that God is never far away, even though we feel all alone! It is in these times when we really do need him so often we find ourselves pulling away from Him! It is not that He has abandoned us, but that we walk away from Him. It is when we need His power the most that we unplug from the source that gives us that power. It is in these vulnerable times that the enemy’s tool of doubt enters into our minds and continues to question God!
It is these interruptions that often tell us the true intend of our heart! Are we more concerned about our schedule then what God is trying to teach us? Slow traffic, a sick child, or a costly home repair may not seem like important tools in our sanctification, but they are. We often overlook these interruptions and inconveniences and instead expect God to work in our lives through huge life-changing circumstances. But the reality is, we won’t often have major events in our life that cause us to trust God and obey him in some deeply profound way. Paul Tripp writes in his book (Whiter Than Snow) “that the character of a life is set in ten thousand little moments of everyday life. It’s the themes of struggles that emerge from those little moments that reveal what’s really going on in our hearts.”
In Philippians 1:20, Paul says “It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.” At this very time Paul was facing many interruptions, he was wrongfully incarcerated and had been beaten and ridiculed for his faith. Yet through it all his expectation and hope was that Christ would be honored and glorified! That should be our hearts desire! When God interrupts your schedule or day with the unexpected, stop and listen to God, drop to your knees and pray that God would be honored through your crisis! Our lives are like a telescope, people are watching you! For many Christ is only a misty figure who lived centuries ago. In fact Jesus isn’t very big in their lives, others and other things are far more important! As Christians our bodies are to be a telescope that brings Jesus Christ close to people. It is when we are interrupted and go through hard times in our lives, that unbelievers should be able to see how big Jesus Christ really is. Our bodies should be the “lens” that makes a “little Christ” look very big, and a “distant Christ” come very close.
I have been challenged this month that interruptions as frustrating that they are are used by our Great Shepherd to push us to the cross of Christ where we must remember the gospel and receive his grace and forgiveness. We can not do life on our own and in our own time, God is in control! It’s hard to see all the little frustrating events and interruptions in our day as divinely placed opportunities to grow in grace, but they are. And seeing them as such helps us take our eyes off ourselves and put them on Christ, who cares more about our transformation than about our daily comfort. Instead of doubting the one who causes the interruptions we should glorify Him!