Coping With Interruptions (A New Perspective on Being Interrupted)
Are you a mom? If not, are you a human being? Yes? Okay….. We can start from there. Interruptions are commonplace in our lives as people….people who function in pretty much ANY capacity… and definitely as moms. Even I, with just one toddler (so far), experience more of them daily than I can count. Depending on the day, I can sometimes lean toward being quickly frustrated and irritated by all the interruptions, especially when they get in the way of my down time with the Lord, or when they wake me up from a (rare) nap… or take my attention away from something else that I REALLY wanted to be doing. Annnnd unfortunately, my family are the ones who often feel the brunt of it in those moments….when I feel like this:
Last night, our house church dove into Mark chapter 6… the story of the feeding of the 5000…in which Jesus and the disciples were massively interrupted! I want to share with you how God used it to speak to my heart, to remind me of these things that are so, so helpful to me in coping with interruptions….
It had been a while since I’d read that story, and I don’t think I had really noticed before that at the beginning of the story, the disciples had just come back from doing all kinds of ministry with people, and they were hungry and in need of some REST and ALONE TIME with Jesus…. so he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
So…. the disciples and Jesus get in this boat, go across the lake to a “solitary” place… and get this: This MASSIVE crowd of people sees them leaving, runs (on FOOT!) around the (really big) lake (?!?!), and BEATS them there. So they get there hoping for some chill time with Jesus and… HOLY COW, WHERE DID YOU PEOPLE COME FROM?!?!?! If I’d been one of those disciples, I THINK I would’ve been pretty frustrated…maybe even angry…? But Mark 6 tells us that Jesus had compassion on the people because they were like sheep with no shepherd….so he began teaching….and taught the people ALL. DAY. LONG. The disciples were along for the ride…. And as far as we know, they STILL hadn’t had an opportunity to even eat, let alone to rest.
We are mostly familiar with the rest of the story…. It’s getting late in the day, the people need food, the disciples want to send them away to go find food for themselves, Jesus basically says, “No, YOU give them something to eat,” to which they respond with shock as there’s no way they can do that (thinking in terms of the natural realm, anyway)… then they find this little boy’s lunch, Jesus miraculously multiplies the food so that 5000+ people have enough that they are satisfied, and there are 12 baskets (enough for each disciple maybe?) leftover beyond that!
So, in discussing this story with our house church last night, here are some key things that stuck out to me:
1. Jesus valued alone time with His disciples and wanted them to get rest. (Mark 6:31-32)
2. Jesus was motivated by compassion for the people when He chose to stay there and teach them instead of finding another quiet place, away from the crowds, to be alone with His disciples. (Mark 6:34)
3. Despite the disciples apparent exhaustion, Jesus still challenged them to be willing to think outside the box when it came to possibilities of how to feed the disciples… He challenged them to increase their faith level when he said, “You give them something to eat.” (Mark 6:37)
4. In spite of the change of plans, Jesus still provided (eventually, though they had to wait a bit) for the disciples’ felt need for food (Mark 6:42-43), AS WELL AS for their need to encounter and experience His heart as he revealed to them his compassion for the people, his desire to meet the people’s needs, both physical and spiritual, and his incredible power to miraculously provide for them. He also revealed to them His desire to meet their (the disciples’) needs, and gave them new perspective on His power and heart to provide for them, in spite of, and in the midst of the massive “interruption.”
Sometimes, I find that I have been subconsciously viewing sleep, down time, even the time and space in my day to sit with the Lord, as my source, INSTEAD of Jesus Himself.
And even (and maybe especially?) in “interruptions,” God is there, waiting to reveal Himself to me in the midst of whatever is happening. My job is to keep my eyes open for Him, my heart attuned to His whispers.
And continually, to let this question roll around inside of me: “God, how do you want to show me more of yourself, your heart, IN THIS situation?”
Ride the waves, and look for Him in the midst of them.
When interruptions come, He is there. Do we still need to prioritize our time and space with Him? Our rest and our down time? Definitely. But they aren’t our ultimate source… so when “waves” happen, when circumstances beyond our control (big or small) interrupt our plans, we can take a deep breath, relax, and know that our true SOURCE is waiting for us in the midst of it all.
We just have to keep our eyes open for Him.
Jesus, give me grace to relax, breathe deep, trust you, see you, encounter your heart in everything.
Blessings, friends! Surf’s up… 🙂
Would you share a piece of your heart…your journey… with us here today?
*How do you normally cope with interruptions?
*How has He revealed (or how is He currently revealing) Himself to your heart in the midst of inconvenience or changes of plans?
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