Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Interruptions of Value: Part 1

Interruption—it’s an odd thing to emphasize and in reality, we’d all rather not pay it any attention. An interruption is annoying! We're forced to stop what we are doing and focus on IT, whatever IT is. Lately God’s been teaching me about interruptions, whether in my personal study, a devotional, at church, or in life. “OK, God, I get it. I need to allow the interruption of Your plan into my own plans,” I finally said.  

Jesus traveled the countryside around the Sea of Galilee, spreading God’s grace. He pursued His Father’s business of bringing the kingdom of God to earth. His mission of love set an example of holy living and at the proper time, He sacrificed His life on the cross for all mankind. Because He focused on His mission, nothing could stop Him, not even interruptions, UNLESS that interruption was God-ordained. Remember—Jesus prayed and stayed close in spirit to the Father; He knew whether or not to allow an interruption into His daily missions.

A great example of a God-ordained interruption is in the fifth chapter of Mark. Jesus traveled back and forth on the Sea of Galilee spreading the Word of God to people living in nearby villages, plus He healed many of their diseases. Word of Jesus’ miracles spread quickly among the many towns bordering the sea and large crowds usually gathered near when He arrived on land. It was here that Jairus, a synagogue official, found Jesus. Obviously he had heard of Jesus’ miracles because he went in search of a miracle for his little girl. She lay dying and Jairus wanted Jesus to lay hands on her and heal her. As Jesus followed Jairus to his home, He was interrupted by a touch of His garments. Jesus perceived that power had left Him so He turned around and asked, “Who touched my garments?” 

The disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”

Jesus looked around and found a woman, cowering in fear. She was afraid because of her label as an outcast. Due to a hemorrhage she suffered for twelve years, Jewish law considered her unclean. No one wanted to be near an outcast, let alone be touched by one. But she had heard the news of Jesus and His miracles, and she believed He could heal her. So she went to Him and touched Him. Because of her faith, Jesus healed her. It was a miraculous interruption. He then continued on to Jairus’ house where He also healed Jairus' daughter (verses 21-43).

The tenth chapter of Mark contains another wonderful example of a priceless interruption. Again Jesus traveled around Galilee and the region of Judea preaching, teaching, and performing miracles. The crowds continued to follow Him. As He discussed the topic of marriage and divorce with His disciples and some Pharisees, parents with children interrupted Him. The parents brought their children to Him so that He might touch them, but the disciples scolded them. This displeased Jesus and so He said, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them (verses 13-16). 

During His daily life, Jesus taught how to react to God-ordained interruptions. He took time to heal many people as He went about proclaiming the Word of God. One time when He returned home to Capernaum, large crowds gathered and He began teaching. Suddenly a paralyzed man on a mat was dropped through the roof by four of his friends who believed Jesus could heal him. Because of their faith, Jesus stopped what He was doing and healed the paralytic (Luke 2:1-5). The disciples even interrupted His nap as a storm approached their boat; He got up and calmed the storm (Matthew 8:23-27). Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan highlights a man willing to allow an interruption into his busy life. The Good Samaritan stopped his travels to take care of a wounded man on the side of the road (Luke 10:25-37). As you can see, Jesus allowed interruptions when they followed His Father's plan.

I’m going to interrupt my blog post right now and leave you with some thoughts and questions. Sometimes interruptions are viewed as intrusions and sometimes they’re considered as interludes. This week’s post shows examples of Jesus experiencing interruptions as small interludes in His mission, all part of God’s plan. Next week we’ll discuss times when the interruptions were actually intrusions into His mission to carry out God’s plan; He would not allow them. 

This week consider the interruptions of your life. Do you stop what you’re doing to help a neighbor in need? Do you put aside your own plans and take the time to pray with a mom whose child is destroying his/her life? Do you postpone making dinner when your own child needs your attention? Is the interruption you’re experiencing an intrusion or an interlude with a story to tell the world about God’s love? I hope you’ll return next week for more of life’s interruptions........

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