We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. (Proverbs 16.9)
One of the first things mom drilled into my head was, “DO NOT interrupt others!”. I still hear her voice in the back of my head! So, God must not have had that conversation with my mom because He interrupts all the time! For example, Noah, stop what you are doing. No more normal life. Instead you’ll build an ark. Moses you are done with shepherding, it’s time to become Israel’s deliverer. Esther you might think you want a simple life, but off to the palace you go. The disciples? They were expected to drop their nets and follow. Interruptions everywhere! As for Jesus, it appears that his earthly ministry was a parade of interruptions. A quick count of Mark’s sixteen chapters produces at least 32 different interruptions. The fact is Jesus’ interruptions had interruptions!
So fast forward to today. Feel like your life is interrupted? NBA interrupted. NHL interrupted. Caribou coffee interrupted. Work interrupted. School interrupted. In the midst of all these interruptions what are we to do? Short answer-allow God to direct our steps. Before I expand on that, let me say clearly that I am not saying God sent this virus. But I will also say that God absolutely knows all about the virus. He’s not caught unaware. We were. Since He knows all about it, He may have a pretty good idea of how to help us walk through it. That’s where the direction of steps is important. That’s where what feels like an interruption to us, will actually be a course correction from Him.
So, to help you discern let me offer you four features of a divine interruption:
- A divine interruption grabs our attention. For example, Moses needed to see why the burning bush didn’t consume itself. It captured his attention (Ex. 3.3).
- A divine interruption has a compelling nudge to it. (See Paul in Acts 16.6-10)
- A divine interruption gives us our next step. (The disciples in Mt. 4.19-22)
- A divine interruption doesn’t provide the complete plan just what you need to know now. (Abram in Gen. 12.4)
Now it’s not essential to have all four of these markers evident in a divine interruption. God’s aim is to get your attention and shift your direction. But here’s the sobering question: will we be available to God? In Isaiah 6.8, there is a picture of a very rare quandary in God’s throne room. The prophet writes, “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Do you see it? God is wondering aloud about who will go? God has a plan. God has the provision. It comes down to who will be willing to go. Isaiah responds in a way that I imagine all heaven applauded, “Here I am. Send me.” Beautiful!
Chances are, in this crazy big interruption God has some smaller interruptions He’d like us to attend to. Keep your eyes open and your hearts ready! Send heaven into thunderous cheering as you say, “Here I am Lord. Send me.”
PS: If you are interested, a more expansive sermon on this topic was preached at City Hill Fellowship. See: https://www.facebook.com/cityhillchurch.ep/videos/807193710100974/?t=0