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Blessed Interruptions

December 8, 2017

By it’s very nature, the word “interruption” is pretty disturbing, isn’t it? Interruption means that the regular flow of things has been disturbed in some way. People come to you and say “I don’t mean to interrupt you…”, meaning that they are apologetic for causing a stoppage in whatever you were already doing in order to hear what they have to say or ask.

Parents with young children will often say they wish they could have one night of uninterrupted sleep or one night out with their spouse, uninterrupted. However, if you think about it, most everything that is really good in your life started with some sort of interruption. Having a child, for example, is an interruption to the regular flow of life, but it’s a good one. A job change is an interruption, but often is a good one. An invitation to lunch or dinner is an interruption but often results in some good fellowship. See what I mean?

The story of the birth of Jesus is full of interruptions. People that were living life, doing their thing, and then BAM, God interrupted their lives with an appointment to be involved with the coming of the Messiah in some way. Let me share a few examples…

Zechariah and Elizabeth – This couple was a great example of righteous living, but there was one issue they were dealing with. Elizabeth was barren – unable to have children. God revealed to Zechariah that they would indeed have a child and this child would be the forerunner of the Messiah, and his name would be John. Zechariah doubted and was struck unable to speak. In time, Zechariah believed, the child was born, and the next words anyone heard Zechariah say were to tell everyone that the child’s name would be John. Pretty important stuff…

Mary – This one is pretty obvious, right? I mean, this was a young virgin girl who was pledged to be married to a carpenter named Joseph and she was prepared to live life as a carpenter’s wife, have children, and be a typical Jewish family. The angel Gabriel came to her and told her she’d been chosen to give birth to the Messiah, but not through natural means – her child would be the child of the Holy Spirit. Her life would never be the same. Though she only had her son 33 years on earth, His work never ends.

Joseph – Ok, you could see this one coming too, I am sure. Joseph was another righteous man, a carpenter. He found a great young woman named Mary who he planned to marry. Their future was set, right? Not so fast… His part is a little more complex in that he was not the physical father of Jesus and he evidently had passed away before Christ went to the cross, but his interruption was divine and blessed.

Wise Men & Magi – The incredible thing about the story of the Wise Men & Magi is that God used a method that would speak uniquely to them to tell them about the Messiah’s birth. He used the stars to speak to those who tried to read the stars. These were not even necessarily God-fearing men, but their course was changed permanently when they felt the tug to follow the star and go and worship the Christ child.

Shepherds & Angels – Shepherds were the lowest on the social scale. God revealed Himself to them and giving them direction to go and visit young Jesus. By this, God showed that it wasn’t just the privileged elite who could know Jesus, it was everyone. Jesus’ birth was humble, the shepherds were humble servants and the angels were used in an incredible way to proclaim this blessed event.

Simeon – Simeon was a righteous Jew who God had revealed something special to. Simeon knew that he would not see death before he had seen the Christ. When Jesus was brought into the Temple at eight days old, Simeon’s revelation became truth, and he held Jesus and said “My eyes have seen your salvation”.

Anna – She was a prophetess who had fasted and worshiped night and day for years and years at the temple. She had been praying for this interruption for decades, and God blessed her faithfulness.

Herod – Even some of the unbelievers got in on the blessed interruptions. He was lying through his teeth when he said he wanted to know where the Christ child was so he could go and worship Him. The fact is, his ego was bruised and he felt his reign was in danger. He was sure this Messiah would bump him off of the throne. He, unlike the others, missed the opportunity for a great blessing in this blessed interruption, and he continued his miserable life apart from Christ.

No manner of intervention or plea by man was able to stop the plan of God. God used every one of these interruptions to glorify Himself and as an opportunity to bring man to Himself.

Every interruption that God allows to happen in your life is an opportunity for God to be glorified. I’m not just talking about the good things either. I’m talking about things like:
Loss of  a loved one
Job turmoil
Financial crisis
Trouble in a relationship

What?? Here I am struggling and asking God “why??” and you are telling me that these are opportunities for God to shine in my life? That’s EXACTLY what I’m saying. God’s Word tells us that it is a privilege to suffer with Christ and for Christ. Does that mean it’s fun? Oh, not always. I realize that.

Take a look at the different interruptions that are going on in your life lately. Rather than panicking and worrying, ask God to show you what He’s trying to accomplish in you and through you. Trust Him for the next step, and the next. Don’t get too far ahead. When you are to the point where you are literally trusting God for your next breath, you are about right. Happy Blessed Interruption season!

Blessed,

Tony Watson
Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church of Palestine, TX

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