"The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be Like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." -Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)
As I have relayed many times, I am a planner and organizer. I love to write to-do lists and proudly check off items. It makes me feel that I have accomplished so much. However, as I do this, I often encounter interruptions. Those may not bother you, but they used to annoy me.
I detested interruptions so much that when my children were small, I waited until they were in bed to clean house. I chose a time when I would not be interrupted. Once when a friend was visiting us, I asked my husband around midnight to go and rent a carpet-cleaning machine. "She must be kidding," our friend said to my husband. "No, she is serious," my husband replied. "She always does her cleaning when no one can interrupt."
However, several years ago the Lord began to deal with me about seeing interruptions as a ministry, not an annoyance. I had been complaining about my interruptions when I looked at Jesus' ministry and suddenly realized that His life was full of interruptions. A time-planning expert would have cringed. His days were filled with things not on His original agenda.
In Mark chapter 5 we see Jesus about to address a crowd. Suddenly Jairus approached Him and said, "My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live" (v. 23). Jesus interrupted His original plans and started for Jairus' house. And the crowd followed Him.
Just then, the woman with an issue of blood seized the moment. She said, “If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole”
(v. 28), and she touched His garment. Jesus turned around and said, “Who touched my clothes?” Another interruption. His disciples were annoyed, just as we might have been. They said, putting it in today’s language, “Jesus, what do You mean, ‘Who touched You?’ There is a multitude around You. Many could have touched You!”
But Jesus knew that this was a different touch—not one of curiosity, but of faith. Mark says, “The woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole”
This interruption came as Jesus was on the way to heal Jairus’ daughter. Then word came that she was dead. It appeared that it was too late. However, Jesus continued with His mission. Though the family was already mourning, He said to them, “Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth” (v. 39). We know the rest of the story; Jairus’ daughter was raised from
What if Jesus had said to Jairus, “Go away. You’re bothering me. I have another agenda right now”? What if He had refused to stop and minister to the woman with the issue of blood who had suffered for 12 years? We need to take inventory of our lives. How many times has the Lord tried to use interruptions as ministry opportunities, and we have replied, “I don’t have time right now. I’m busy checking off my to-do list”?
Several years ago I had my to-do list all ready for the day. It was full of errands. I started out to purchase my first item and was in a store when a woman approached me. I stopped, smiled, and politely said, “Hi.” I thought that would be the end of the conversation. However, the woman began pouring out her heart. I stood in that store for two hours listening to her hurts. At first I wanted to scream, “I’m too busy for this! I must complete my list!” But the Lord gently reminded me that interruptions were my work. After I had listened to her and offered words of comfort, she said, “You were an answer to my prayer this morning.”
After leaving her I said, “OK, Lord, I obeyed You. Now I need You to redeem my time.” I estimated that it would take at least four hours to complete my list. But in less than an hour, I had found everything I needed. God’s ways are so much higher than our ways.
So I encourage you, do not look at interruptions as irritations, as I once did. Look at them as opportunities. Know that the Lord may be taking you down a path of interruptions that will let you minister to the needs of others. In turn, you will not only become a blessing but will be blessed.