My 18-month-old doesn’t nap well. In pretty typical fashion, the other day he woke up “hard” after a nap. He had only been sleeping about 45 minutes--short nap--and I was in the middle of a home management project. A month’s worth of receipts, bills, and statements were spread across the table. I was in no mood to be interrupted.
When I went into the room, he was sitting up, bleary-eyed and disheveled, and screaming a pathetic little cry. I picked him up but instead of continuing to cry, he laid his head on my shoulder.
I sat down on a chair, he laid his head on my chest. Convulsive sobs were gradually replaced with deep breaths. The numbers and stress circulating in my own head were gradually replaced with a deep spirit of peace as my typically-rambunctious toddler curled into a ball on my lap and fell back to sleep.
I was in the middle of something. And God saw fit to bless me by breaking into my unremarkable routine with this… a peaceful 20 minutes sitting on a chair, holding my child and considering… that God’s got a knack for holy interruptions.
Moses probably had other plans that day the bush was burning.
Mary’s future was shattered when the angel brought earth-shaking news.
Peter was conducting business as usual when Jesus called out, “Follow me.”
As I sat there on the chair holding my own holy interruption, I contemplated the story of Lazarus. Here was a guy with plans. He and his two sisters--Mary and Martha--were disciples of Jesus. I’m certain he had formulated some picture of what “being a disciple” would look like in his life. And I can be almost certain that his picture didn’t include the events recorded for us in John 11.
Lazarus died and was raised back to life when Jesus called his name, a striking and powerful picture of the resurrection that will be ours when Jesus returns.
What would happen if we looked at every interruption through the lens of eternity (as Jonathan Edwards so vividly prayed)?
How would our attitude towards the needs of others change?
What prevents us from being on the lookout for God in our everyday?
I'm no saint. My first reaction to Flint's cry in the next room wasn't, "Oh wow, what a blessing." But I'm glad that God changed my heart so that I could receive the interruption for what it was--a gift from Him.
Our prayer for this New Year is that God would continually open our eyes to see Him working. That we would see every interruption as a holy interruption. That is our prayer for you, too.