The Blessing of Interruptions
I am a connoisseur of interruptions.
I have a two-year-old, so I often hear, “Mommy, I have to go potty so bad,” or “Mommy, I wanna watch Doc [McStuffins].” And when I try to write my articles for Horizons Resources or just write for my own personal blog, I get her little hands batting at the keyboard like the keys are flies coming for her Cheerios. I try to read and she asks, “Mommy, whatcha’ readin’? Whatcha’ readin’, Mommy?” She interrupts me from my phone or my book so I can see what really matters, even if what I am doing is productive.
God does the same thing to us. A month or so ago, I was overwhelmed at work, so I took off with my phone and went for a walk around the bushes. To my right are some trees lining the cement sidewalk paths through the parking lot, and I don’t pay them much mind except for the welcome shade from the sun. This day, though, I thought I heard the Lord say, “Look up.” I thought, Eh, I probably should take a look at the sky. I do always see a screen. Blue sky is...Whoa. I was struck by this one tree in particular. The tree was green and alive except for one dead patch of brown leaves halfway to the top. I then thought, Does Heaven have seasons?
I began texting my thoughts to my friend when I got inside. We discussed how life and death are considered seasons, but Heaven is everlasting life, so why would we need the seasons if there’s no death, no sorrow? But God created all things - warm, cold, rain, snow - all things to bring him glory, so what would bring him glory there? Will he still use the skies to declare himself as God? Will he need to when we’re in Heaven, or in the new creation?
I believe David had a moment like mine when he wrote in Psalm 19, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1). When we look at creation, we can see who God is. There is no detail too small for him to take the time to make it individual.
That dead patch of leaves in the tree interrupted my normal Instagram scrolling to remind me that the God of creation puts everything in its time for a purpose, and that tree’s purpose was to draw my thoughts heavenward.
Jesus was often interrupted in his ministry. He was interrupted to exorcise demons and raise lives from the dead, restore eyesight, and heal broken bodies.
For example: in Luke 7, Jesus and his disciples were approaching Nain when they came across a funeral procession. A widow had lost her only son, and the town was mourning along with her. But then, here comes Jesus, and he raises the son to life again. We cannot know if Jesus knew such an astonishing interruption would happen on his way to another town, but what we do know is clear: he interrupted a funeral procession to bring a widow’s dead son back to life, and in turn foreshadowed his own resurrection and ours. Who knew that interruptions could be so wonderful?
A little later, Jesus was in the middle of helping a man named Jairus, whose young daughter was dying, when he was interrupted. A woman who had suffered years of bleeding, who had given all the money she had to be made well and had nothing left to give, believed that being near Jesus was the only way she was going to be healed. She desperately snuck through the crowds just to touch the hem of his robe. In the middle of the pulsing crowd all around him, he felt this interruption, “Who touched me?... Someone did touch me… I know that power has gone out from me” (Luke 8:45-56). But when the woman fell before him in plain sight, he stopped what he was doing to speak to her, to heal her, to restore her, to call her a daughter of the faith and send her in peace. Then he returned to what he was originally doing, and healed Jairus’s daughter (Luke 8).
Jesus Interrupts Us
Jesus was interrupted and Jesus interrupted - and there were blessings in both. As Louie Giglio put it, “Jesus interrupted our funeral procession.” In his death and resurrection, Jesus crashed the funeral while our family and friends were crying, believing he was another man come to mourn in disbelief. He walked up to our spiritual casket and said, “Get up. Walk. You are forgiven. You are alive because I have risen.” Through faith, he made us right with God by his blood, performing a blood transfusion, if you will, so when God sees us, he sees him. It was the most wonderful interruption, and we continue to receive those interruptions on the path of sanctification each time the Holy Spirit guides us and convicts us in the truth, moulding us in the image of Christ.
So this week, as you’re walking to your car, looking out the window, or getting tugged on by a little one in your life, take a moment to consider where God may be trying to interrupt you in order to show you something. Take some time to meditate on what it looks like in your life for Christ to interrupt your funeral procession. Maybe as you spend time there, you’ll hear God speak clearly about areas he wants to breathe life into, maybe you’ll hear him in something said by a friend, or maybe you’ll even hear him speaking with the voices of the wind.