We can sometimes get caught up in our schedules and routines. Our days are planned down to the nanosecond with no time to spare. All the while God is sending people across our path that need a touch from Him, but we’re too busy to notice.
And yes, we can even get annoyed at the disruptions and delays. We have places to be and people to see! Shopping to do and gifts to wrap and cookies to bake and there’s work to be done.
Instead of looking at these intrusions on our time simply as things that put us behind schedule, let’s look at them as divine interruptions sent by God.
Zechariah was going about his work in the temple when an angel appeared to him with amazing news. “God has heard your prayers. Your wife will have a son. You will call him John. He will walk in the spirit and power of Elijah and prepare the way for the coming of Messiah.”
Mary was probably going about her business, doing her chores. Cleaning. Laundry. Prepping food for the next meal. Planning her wedding. All of a sudden, an angel appears to her. “Mary, you are blessed and highly favored of God. Don’t fear. You’ll give birth to a son and He shall be called the Son of the Most High. He will reign over Israel forever. His kingdom will never end!”
Divine interruptions. Zechariah and Mary both yielded to them. Yes Lord. Be it unto me.
But Zechariah could have said, “Really? Now? He’s going to answer our prayers now that we’re well-stricken in years? We’re too old, Lord. We’re too tired. You may want to find someone else.”
Mary could have said, “Ummm….ain’t nobody got time for that. This certainly doesn’t fit into my 5-year plan. I don’t know if you know this or not, but you’re supposed to be married first before you get pregnant. The scandal would be unbelievable. Unbearable. I think I’m gonna pass, but thanks for thinking of me.”
They didn’t have to respond the way they did. But they recognized the divine interruption, accepted the call, and rose to the challenge. And we can all see the eternal impact that had on humanity.
Aren’t we glad they recognized those divine interruptions? Would we?
I know what we’re all thinking. Of course we would. That would be so cool. Angelic visitations and high callings. Of course we would make time for those divine interruptions.
That’s probably true.
But most divine interruptions go ignored because they come in the form of annoyances instead of angels.
Getting stuck in traffic or in line at the store. Someone drops by our desk at the office to chat. We wanted to eat lunch alone and peruse Facebook but someone sits down next to us and wants to talk.
We get the text, “Do you have 5 minutes to talk?” And we know it will take more. And our plate is already overflowing and we’re wondering how we’re going to get it all done as it is.
Okay, so maybe these don’t sound like the divine interruptions in the Christmas Story. But…..let’s look at them through different eyes.
Instead of getting frustrated in traffic, let’s take a deep breath and ask Him, “Well, I have no control of this. Lord, is there anyone that needs prayer right now?” And release power into someone’s situation and make an eternal impact.
The person in front of you in line may need a word from God. A boost to their hope. A smile. Sharing the love of God.
What if the person who stops by our desk or sits next to us at lunch is so depressed they’re contemplating suicide? And us showing value to them by giving them our most precious commodity, our time, makes them realize, “I do matter. It’s going to be okay.” And eventually we lead them to relationship with the Lord.
What if the person who needs just five (or twenty) minutes of our time is ready to give up on their faith, and our encouragement is just what they need to keep holding on and they finally receive their miracle. And we have a part to play in it.
When we allow these delays to be divine interruptions instead of annoyances, stress levels will fall and a sacred calm will settle in our hearts and spread to our souls. Instead of spreading edginess and frustration, we’ll be delivering the gift Jesus came to give – peace on earth. Goodwill to man. Tidings of comfort and joy.
Lord, help us to see these intrusions into our schedule as divine interruptions from You. And let Your light and love shine through. Help us make an eternal impact on the world around us through the divine interruptions you send us today.