Tuesday, March 4, 2014

How To Handle Interruptions

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How many times has this happened?  You fill the sink full of hot soapy water and dirty dishes.  You get four dishes cleaned, rinsed, and placed in the drainer only to hear, "MOOOOMMMMM!"  You leave to take care of the issue.  After multiple interruptions you remember the original task at hand - the dishes.  Entering the kitchen you drain the cold, slimy, disgusting water and make attempt #2 to finish the job.

There are many days that it takes me over an hour to do the dishes. Many times another meal has already come and gone before I have finished the breakfast dishes.  Sometimes I go to bed with them unfinished.  Not because there is an abundance of dirty pots and pans but because I get pulled away several times for discipline, training, assisting, holding, redirecting, and loving. 

And this is just one activity that I struggle to finish.  Laundry, meal prep, typing an email.  Just trying to use the bathroom is a feat!


This morning I read the second post of a new study I am doing by Jim Daly called "Expressing God's Love to Those Around You."  With my struggles in the area of love, I thought it would directly hit the issue of my heart.  As the Holy Spirit continually does, I found answers in unexpected places. 

Today I read the healing accounts of Jarius' daughter and the hemorrhaging woman.  Stories which I am very familiar with from my years in Sunday School as a child. 

But the devotional turned my focus off the healings and directed it to Jesus.  Read with me Matthew 9:18-24 and pay attention to Jesus.
18 While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples. 
20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” 
22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment. 
23 When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, 24 he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. 26 News of this spread through all that region.
Immediately we read that while teaching Jesus was interrupted by a man. And that is just the beginning.  I made an outline of the progression in my Quiet Time Journal.
  1. Jesus was teaching
  2. He got interruped by Jarius.
  3. Jesus got up and went with him.
  4. Jesus was interrupted by the hermoraging woman
  5. Jesus healed her.
  6. Jesus continued to Jarius' house.
  7. He was greeted by an annoying crowd.  (I say this would have been an interruption in itself.)
  8. Jesus went in and healed the girl.
But it doesn't stop there!
27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”  28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”  “Yes, Lord,” they replied.

29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” 31 But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region.

32 While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. 33 And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
      9. Two blind men followed Him (interruption).
     10.  Jesus healed them.
     11.  Man who was demon-possessed and couldn't talk came to him (interruption). 
     12.  Jesus healed him.

Interruption after interruption!

Now, I am not implying that Jesus was ignorant of each happening.  What I am saying is that Jesus grasped each interruption and turned in into an opportunity.  An opportunity to demonstrate God's power.  An opportunity to share God's love. 

Today you and I will face many interruptions ... while doing the dishes, using the bathroom, or trying to fix a meal.  The question is: Will we see them as opportunities or annoyances?

1 comment :

  1. Oh Boy ... Slap me in the face. I have read that scripture many times and never looked at this aspect. I raising a 5 yo special needs child who is not mine. While she has bought me many blessings just yesterday the interruptions were never ending. I honestly got so tense that my neck is stiff and sore today. Now how silly is that. Ridiculous. Thanks so much for your post. Praising God for the words he gave to you. Kathy.

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The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.