In any group, ask for a show of hands: “Who here would like to be considered kind and helpful by others?” Chances are, a good number of hands will go up.
Now try another question: “Who here enjoys being interrupted when you’re busy doing something?” Probably fewer, if any, hands will rise. And understandably so. After all, when we’re pursuing a hobby, or studying for a class, or even writing a weekly blog post, we know how we planned to use our time and aren’t excited when someone disrupts our schedule.
But here’s something interesting to chew on: In the Bible, Jesus taught many truths, and He performed many miracles. Pay close attention to how many of His most memorable miracles resulted from someone interrupting while He was busy, either engaged in doing something or walking toward a goal. Here are a few:
Luke 5:17-19 – While Jesus was teaching a crowd, several men showed up with an ill friend who needed healing. These men had no appointment. They didn’t even wait until Jesus had finished, but barged right in with their paralyzed friend. Jesus not only stopped His lesson to heal the paralytic, but used that opportunity to teach those present yet another lesson.
Luke 8:22-24 – When He was sleeping, the disciples awoke Jesus because of a storm. Rather than simply roll over (He was in no danger!), Jesus rose and rebuked the waves and the wind for their sake.
Luke 8:43 – While on His way to heal the daughter of a man named Jairus, a woman with an issue of blood touched Jesus’ garment and received healing. The crowed pressed all around, and no one but Jesus and the woman realized what had happened. He could have continued walking toward His original goal, but Jesus stopped and singled out the woman to spend a moment of conversation with her.
Mark 10:46-52 – While walking with a huge crowd of people, an “unimportant” blind beggar named Bartimaeus began noisily shouting to Jesus. Some rebuked the beggar. Didn’t he realize Jesus had more important things to do? But Jesus stopped and called for the man. The beggar hurried forward and requested the gift of restored eyesight. Jesus did the miracle, and a joyful Bartimaeus joined His followers.
Yup! Some of Jesus’ most well-remembered miracles occurred during moments when He was basically busy with something else, but was interrupted. How do you respond when someone with a need interrupts you–in irritation, or with compassion and a heart to help? That interruption just might be a God-given opportunity to accomplish something bigger than the interrupter expects. Think about it!