Tuesday, October 03, 2006

#66 "Can God Interrupt Your Life?"

October 3, 2006
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." (Luke 1: 38)

I don't know about you, but I don't like interruptions. Ask anyone that knows me well and they will be sure to tell you that I'm a little obsessive-compulsive. I usually have a plan, organized and well thought out, and I set my mind to get it done. I'm not just talking about big projects. I'm this way with the day to day activities of my life. Lord knows, don't call me before 11AM. I'm busy, don't you know. I do not like interruptions.

Well, imagine being Mary. Her marriage to Joseph had been arranged by her parents. The contracts were negotiated. She was considered a married woman and was called Joseph's wife. She was very young. Jewish maidens at that time were considered marriageable at 12 years and 6 months of age. Can you even imagine? Mary was somewhere in the one-year waiting period where it would be demonstrated that she was faithful to her pledge of purity. If she was found to be "pure" after this one year, Joseph would come and in a grand processional march, take her to live with him as his wife. If she was found to be pregnant, therefore unfaithful, their marriage could be annulled. She and Joseph had never had sexual intercourse and Mary herself was faithful. We don't know exactly where she was in that waiting time period, but I imagine she was planning her life with Joseph and anxiously awaiting their wedding day.

So Mary's going about her day and BAM! the angel Gabriel appears to her. I don't know about you but I don't get too many angelic appearances coming my way and I'd be a little taken aback, to say the least. He tells her that she is highly favored and specially honored by God. And that she would have a Son. She can't imagine how this could be since she was a virgin. Literally it means "since I do not know a man." She didn't doubt the angel's words but merely wanted to know how such an event would be accomplished. The angel told her that the Holy Spirit would miraculously bring this about. And he adds, "nothing is impossible with God."

There would be such misunderstanding in the community. Tongues would be wagging at the well. This could result in Mary being stoned (Deuteronomy 22: 23-24). Joseph's heart would be broken. What would he do when he found out? She could've refused. She could've fought with the angel. She could've asked for time to "pray about it." But it is at this very point that Mary says the most amazing thing. "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said." Because of this interruption in a normal day, Mary's life would never be the same. And frankly, neither would ours. Mary's life could be interrupted by God.

What about you? Can God interrupt your life? Can He step into a normal Tuesday and ask you to allow Him to rearrange everything you know as normal to further His purpose in your life and the lives of other people? Sometimes the rearrangement is small. Like stopping your daily routine to give encouragement to a friend who calls. It only takes a few moments. Sometimes it's a little bigger and you are made aware of a need and you sacrifice some finances to help or He is asking you to get involved at your church. And other times what God asks is life-changing. A complete turn in the direction that you thought your life was going. You are asked to take care of an aging, ailing parent. Your child is in big trouble and needs you to set aside your own life and pour into theirs. A marriage is floundering and you are asked to model a "gentle and quiet spirit" and do all that you can to make that marriage work. You are asked to honor that covenant of marriage. You may get stripped of finances, comforts and things that you hold onto in this life and God may ask you to make your life all about Him. God may close doors in your ministry or your church and be telling you to move on to uncharted waters. To try something you've never done before. To trust Him with the unknowns in your life. And to leave the consequences of your obedience to Him.

I don't know what your interruptions are. And maybe you don't either. Start paying attention. No event is insignificant in God's eye-view. Be aware of every circumstance that you encounter in your everyday. Ask yourself, "Is this a divine interruption?" Will you argue? Will you refuse? Will you have to take forever to "pray about it". Don't get me wrong, we must pray, but I believe that Christians very often use this as an excuse for not accepting the interruptions of God. If Mary had argued, delayed or refused we wouldn't have Jesus! She was part of an awesome plan that God had for her life. She was chosen to be divinely interrupted that day. To have her life turned upside down. To face unbelievable circumstances. For Him. Can we say, today, if we are divinely interrupted, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said?"

Anticipating interruption,

Donna Schultz

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