By Maggie Lasher
Anyone who knows me knows I like to schedule, plan, and implement. My scheduling takes on a life of itself – between my phone calendar, my paper planner, and my ever-present clipboard. And woe betide the one who interrupts that plan.
But when you look at what’s recorded about Jesus’ ministry here on earth, we don’t see His schedule or His planned sermons. What we see are a series of “untimely” interruptions.
Jesus was delivering an important teaching on divorce (Matthew 19:1-12). Folks started bringing their children up to Jesus to be blessed. The disciples saw this as interrupting His important work and rebuked them. But Jesus didn’t see it that way…
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there. ~ Matthew 19:14-15 (NLT)
Jesus was interrupted when He was teaching inside of a house – suddenly, the ceiling was falling in and four men lowered their friend into Jesus’ lecture. We don’t know what Jesus was teaching about that day, but we do know that Jesus stopped what He was doing and took the time to heal the paralytic and send him on his way glorifying God. (Luke 5:17-25)
Over and over again, Jesus is interrupted … and that is often where we see His most important ministries being fulfilled.
In one of his letters, C.S. Lewis wrote:
“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own’, or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life – the life God is sending one day by day: what one calls one’s ‘real life’ is a phantom of one’s own imagination.”
How is Jesus with people? He welcomes them! He stops what He’s doing and gives them His undivided attention. Interruptions do not mess with God’s plan nor stand in the way of His good work. Interruptions magnify God’s pursuing love of us; they amplify the message of forgiveness and wholeness that He desires for us.
In other words, embrace the interruptions: they are the very ministry where we are called. See the people in front of you not as your interruptions, but as your ministry.