December 03, 2019
Have you experienced getting interrupted? It’s not a pleasant feeling. When I am in the zone and someone interrupts me, I feel like my rights are violated and that the source of interruption is rude and unpleasant. Here are some of my experiences that tend to get on my nerves.
When I’m watching a movie and the person behind me keeps giving a play by play account
When I’m about to crack that difficult math problem and someone cranks up the volume of their hard rock music
When I’m sleeping in after a hellish exam week and my roommate’s alarm goes off at 4:00 a.m.
I’d get so tempted to rant (in my mind or out loud, when I finally get fed up) against the perpetrators.
Interruptions are uncomfortable. We like things the way we’re used to. We don’t look forward to our comfortable routine being disrupted. We don’t want our carefully laid out plans to change.
But what if God is the source of the interruption?
When you have your future set in mind and He closes the door to the path you have set your heart on
When you are content and comfortable with the way things are and He shakes things up and asks you to step onto unfamiliar grounds
When you hold on tight to something precious and He asks you to surrender it to Him
We look forward to the Christmas season because we associate it with rest, comfort, and pleasure. Yet, it would be good to remember that the first Christmas was fraught with discomfort, unplanned events, and wake-up calls:
A surprise pregnancy for an engaged couple (where the guy is not the father of the baby)
A long, tedious trip for a group of magi
A threat to the throne of an established ruler
An unexpected Savior to a world yearning for freedom
In the midst of interruptions that are clearly out of our control, we hold on to an important truth about God: that He always has a good purpose that goes beyond our personal lives.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Romans 8:28 (NLT)
God-orchestrated interruptions will interfere with our carefully planned lives. When we surrender our lives to Him, it will mean giving up our own ways, letting go of our own agenda, and going out of our comfort zone.
Our first response to God’s interruption is usually fear. Zechariah was afraid (Luke 1:12). Mary was afraid (Luke 1:29). The shepherds were afraid (Luke 2:9). Even Herod, the king at that time, was disturbed (Matthew 2:3)
Somehow, we instinctively know that when God interrupts our plans, our lives will never be the same. And we are disturbed. We find it hard to accept. We struggle and we wrestle with God.
God knows us perfectly. That is why when He sent the angels to bring the good news of Jesus’ coming, the first words they said were, “Do not be afraid.” God acknowledges our fear, our doubts, and our struggle. He knows how hard it is. After all, He is Immanuel—“God with us”—and that meant giving up the comfort of heaven for the pain of the world.
And yet the Bible did not dwell on each person’s fear. The angels went on to give a vision of the future to every person they visited—how their obedience is part of God’s plan of redemption, not just for Israel, but for the whole world, for generations (Matthew 1:21; 2:5,6; Luke 1:13–17,30–33; 2:10,11).
God has a better plan and a bigger agenda. Following Him means counting the cost, denying ourselves, and taking up our cross. It means being open to His interruptions so that we can live the faith-filled life He planned for us. It means trusting that our obedience will accomplish His purpose for us and for the generations to come.
The faith of those whose lives were interrupted by the birth of Jesus Christ have ripple effects even to this day. As we take a closer look into their stories, may we be inspired to respond in faith to interruptions in our lives as well, so we can be a blessing to others, to the nations, and to the future generations.