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Divine Interruptions

By Betty Jo Mathis

INTERRUPTIONS – we all experience them. A prolonged phone call on a busy morning. A power outage. A baby’s cry at midnight. A balky vehicle. An unexpected visit from an old friend. A death in the family. A hijacked plane.

Some interruptions are only distractions. We take them in stride and get on with life. Some interruptions are delightful interludes. Some are devastating. Life is never the same again.

September 11, 2001, we stopped mid-sentence, mouths agape, eyes wide with fear. We glued ourselves to the TV and radio. Things would never be the same again;  9/11 had interrupted our lives.

Did that horrifying event slip up on God? Were His plans interrupted?

A look at His Word will tell us that interruptions do not throw Him. In fact they are part of His mysterious, eternal plan. Let us remember some interruptions that forever changed people’s lives but were no surprise to God.

THE WEDDING PLANS of a young virgin and her fiancée were interrupted by an unplanned, divine pregnancy. The couple’s expectations of a familiar, comfortable birthing place were interrupted by a king’s edict.

The night watch of a band of shepherds was interrupted by a host of angels. Things would never be the same again.

Age-long religiosity was interrupted by a humble Carpenter who claimed to be the son of God. Sabbaths in the synagogue were interrupted when that Carpenter gave a blind man his sight, restored a withered hand and straightened the back of a woman bent double for 18 years.

Passover supper was interrupted when the Host left the table to wash the feet of his guests.

A man from Cyrene was interrupted and ordered to carry a cross to a place called Golgotha.

SIN AND GUILT were forever interrupted when the Lamb of God cried, “It is finished!” and the temple veil was rent from top to bottom. Things would never be the same again.

Three frightened women, arms full of burial spices, were interrupted when a dazzling angel asked, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” Things would never be the same again.

Two bewildered disciples were interrupted when a Stranger joined in their walk to Emmaus and opened the Scriptures to them. A fishing expedition was interrupted when Someone with pierced hands and feet called from shore, “Children, do you have any fish?”

The annual feast of Pentecost was interrupted by a mighty rushing wind. Things would never be the same again.

The grisly plans of a Hebrew zealot were interrupted by a Light brighter than the sun. Things were never the same again.

The lives of countless sinners are eternally interrupted when the light of the glorious gospel shines upon them. Things are never the same again.

HEAVEN HAD BEEN SILENT for 400 years; No Light from above, no heavenly interruptions, no God-inspired prophets shouting for God’s people to repent. Silence.

But when the fullness of time had come, God {interrupted things and} sent forth His son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order that He might redeem those who are under the law that we might receive the adoption as sons. — Galatians 4:4,5.

The world was eternally interrupted by a baby’s cry from a manger in Bethlehem. Things have never been the same since. LIGHT had come into the world. Most people did not appreciate having their darkness interrupted and were determined to snuff out the Light. For three frightening hours as Jesus hung on a cross outside Jerusalem, darkness did interrupt the Light. But darkness could not, nor cannot overpower Light. It shines today, interrupting the darkness, angering the ungodly, puzzling the angels.

God is not through interrupting. One of these days a trumpet blast will interrupt the slumber of those who have died in Christ. They will rise to meet the Lord in the air. Then we which are alive and remain shall join them, a delightful divine interruption.

But a devastating interruption for those left behind, much worse than 9/11.

Things will never be the same again.

From Things New and Old, copyright 2003