I wanted to begin this year with a Guest Blog I had written for a friend. I believe as we begin a new year, we must prepare our hearts for whatever God desires to fill our hearts with. No matter how nervous it may make us, the unexpected things that happen define us and our perspectives. The question is, will you allow God to lead you into places you have never been for your growth and His glory...
Interruptions are one of the most frustrating things to deal with! Just when you have everything planned out, it can all change. I don’t know about you, but I have experienced this a lot lately. It has felt like over the past couple weeks that I have had an increase in interruptions. Realistically, I am not sure if there has actually been an increase in interruptions, or if maybe, just maybe, God has just been trying to get my attention.
In times of increased stress and frustration especially, Scripture can be a great comfort to give us the boost we need to get through. But we have to ask ourselves the question, is that the way God desires us to use Scripture? Did He give us His word to talk our way out of frustrations? Or out of interruptions for that matter? How exactly is God desiring us to perceive interruptions in life?
Can I be completely transparent with you for a moment? Over the last three months I have had pain that can be consuming some days. There are times, I cannot find a Scripture to soothe the pain. I know for a fact that there is no lack of Scripture that can speak into my situation. But sometimes, my mind can be so foggy from medication, or completely frazzled from the pain alone! This isn’t to give myself a pity party, but to draw your attention to something that God has been showing me lately in the middle of what I have been going through: Interruptions are His way of drawing us near.
How interruptions look for you, may not be the same way they look for me. For you, it could be a consistent cancelling of hoped for plans. It could be a delay in selling a home. It could be the inability to complete certain life goals. However your interruptions look, they are still an opportunity to sit at his feet and just be...
Recently, God showed me a vision. I was walking through a stream. The water was flowing so quickly over my feet, that I worried for a moment how I would cross this stream. Then instantly, I was walking through a meadow of tall green grass. And I heard the Lord whisper, “Exchange your storm for my peace.” In that moment it was revealed to me that I had a choice. I could continue viewing my situation as a major “interruption.” Or I could begin to offer up my storm as a sacrifice in exchange for the peace He promises me. Don’t get me wrong, God does not cause my pain or anybody’s pain for that matter! He does not bring about the struggle and torment that we face in this life. What He does, is offer us the opportunity to come sit at His feet. We often come long enough to the throne to tell Him about our cares, but we don’t linger long enough to allow Him to speak through them! Instead we run around from person to person, convincing ourselves that we are overcomers. When deep inside we are dying from lack of intimacy with the only One who can bring us peace.
I love the way the New Living Translation expresses the Apostle Paul’s statement when he spoke about interruptions in life, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”-Romans 5:3-5
The Apostle Paul was showing the church that all that we go through is an opportunity to develop endurance. If you really think about it, how much growing happens just in times of bliss? How often we do linger at the altar during times where we feel we may not “need” God as much? It is much easier to linger when we are struggling to make sense of the things in life that we would prefer to disappear. Nevertheless, when the mountains we have prayed against don’t move, and the storms we attempt to calm continue to remain, we can choose!
We can choose to rejoice because we know that the Father loves us so much, He is allowing an interruption to draw us to the throne where we lay down ourselves. We can choose to press in. But the choice is not easy. The choice will require something of us. A sacrifice. Of self. Of the desire to control each and every area of our lives. We have the opportunity to lay down that which holds us hostage and keeps us from peace. Which will you choose?
Will you give permission for God to interrupt your life? Will you give Him permission to allow difficulties in your life so that He can get the glory through you? Not everyone will understand. Not everyone will even agree. People around you will tell you to speak to your mountain and calm your storm. But can you still trust God when those things don’t go as planned? Will you still believe that He is faithful if that prayer you have been praying doesn’t come to pass in the time you want? Will you still serve Him faithfully when the healing, or the finances, or the unsaved family member doesn’t change?
Join with me in this declaration: I will choose Him! I choose to serve Him. I choose to walk through the storm. I choose to press in at the altar for His presence and not for what He can do for me! Come hell or high water, I will keep my eye on the One who is my salvation. I will not beg to be removed from my storm, but rather pray for the courage to endure it, as well as the discernment of how to navigate it…
He knows what we are going through at all times. He has not left or become suddenly uninterested in our struggle. Rather, He is ever present at the place we have abandoned for far too long, the altar. As we pursue Him, our interruptions change from inconveniences to opportunities to be in the presence of the Almighty God, waiting to spend time with you…
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.”- 2 Corinthians 4:8-10, NLT