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 step away 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…3…or 4 to finish the job.
There are many days that it takes me several hours to do the dishes. Many times another meal has come and gone before I the breakfast dishes are drying in the drainer. Sometimes I go to bed with the counters covered. Not because I despise scrubbing on 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 can be a feat!
Maybe hanging a “Please Do Not Disturb” sign around my neck would help? Ummm…probably not.
A few years ago, I read a study by Jim Daly called “Expressing God’s Love to Those Around You” which pointed me to the miraculous healing accounts of Jarius’ daughter and the hemorrhaging woman.
Unexpectedly, 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’s reactions.
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.
In the first verse we see that Jesus’ teaching was interrupted by a man. But this is just the beginning. Look at the progression I wrote in my Quiet Time Journal.
- Jesus was teaching
- He got interrupted by Jarius.
- Jesus got up and went with him.
- Jesus was interrupted by the hemorrhaging woman
- Jesus healed her.
- Jesus continued to Jarius’ house.
- He was greeted by an annoying crowd. (I say this would have been an interruption in itself.)
- 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 it 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 restroom, or trying to fix a meal. The question is: Will our actions tell those around us “Please Don’t Disturb” or will we see these interruptions as opportunities?
Have a child who constantly interrupts? Check out these nine tips to teach a child respect and patience.