Interruptions (?)

I am a person who likes to plan out their day but I also realize that I will probably not complete all the tasks on my to-do-list. Just as I am really getting into a task; it never fails; someone interrupts me. But as a Christ follower are they really ‘interruption? (The Lord directs the steps of the godly..”. (Psalm 37:23a)

No one has ever been busier than Jesus Christ. [Mark 6:31} But I never noticed how He handled ‘”interruptions.”

1) A man of influence approached Him with an urgent request to help his sick child. Though Jesus was ministering to a large crowd:
2) Jesus immediately saw this “interruption” as an opportunity to meet a need.
3) The ever-present crowd made progress difficult. Suddenly Jesus stopped and asked, “Who touched me?” The first “interruption” is now being interrupted by a second “interruption!” A woman had reached out in faith and was immediately healed. But why did Jesus stop? (Never that of this?) The woman’s healing had already occurred.

Jesus stopped to draw attention to her healing because she needed to realize that she wasn’t an interruption or unimportant to Jesus; she mattered. With compassion, He calls her “Daughter” and affirms her faith and sends her home.

Jesus invites us to come to Him like this woman did. He assures us that we’ll never be an interruption. ‘I will never turn away anyone who comes to me.” John 6:37a

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Healing For A Broken Heart

There is a saying that even Christians take comfort from during times of  tragedy, “Time heals all wounds.” But unfortunately, that is not true. Time has no inherent healing power. Only God has healing power! I know people who are just as bitter and angry today as they were ten years ago. Time hasn’t healed their souls. I know people who are playing the blame game louder today than they were 30 years ago. 

Only Jesus has healing power and so if you have a broken heart Psalm 147:3“. For the Lord comforts (For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.”) his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. No one can mend a broken heart but the Lord. Other people’s words will encourage you and bring a measure of healing but the ultimate healing is always from the Lord.  He has the power, love and divine skill to actually cure you of the extraordinary pain that you are going through.

God is able to restore your soul (Psalm 23:3)  and perform a spiritual heart transplant [Ezakiel 36:26]  if that is what it takes to move you into health and hope again. This seems impossible when you have a broken heart but it is not impossible to God! The will of God is always restoration and healing.

If you have a broken heart, friend, I know Someone who has the expert skills to easily and perfectly mend it. Not only is He able to repair your broken heart, but He has the desire to do it.

God’s Identity Crisis

I would imagine that many of you read the title of this blog and were shocked! Before you brand me a heretic; allow me to explain. I do not imply that God has a problem with knowing exactly who He is. Rather, it is we, His creation, that is confused concerning God’s true identity. There are hundreds of misconceptions about who God is and what He is like but I think most of them could be placed under two major headings.

The Transcendent God. People see God as so holy, so powerful, so pure that He could not have a relationship with fallen humanity. It is true that God is totally above all creation.      1 Chronicles 29:10-12 ; 1 Samuel 2:2

The Benevolent Grandfather. Some people see God’s purpose is to make us happy and give us what we want. He is like a celestial vending machine; insert your prayer and out drops your answer. He is the “grandfather” who grants all our wishes. 

But I think the picture below shows the proper balance of who God really is.

jfk

This is the famous picture of President John F. Kennedy in the Oval Office. Underneath the desk is his son, John Jr. President Kennedy was the most powerful man in the world. He was to be respected and honored. And yet, he was a father who loved his son.  He had a relationship with his son, so “John-John” could pop out from under his desk and speak to this powerful figure without. 

…then the fog lifted.

On Sunday, 18 June 1815, one of the world’s most important battles was fought, the Battle of Waterloo. Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was seeking to conquer the world. He was opposed by the Anglo-led Allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington. After 4 days of the extreme fighting, Napoleon finally surrendered.

There was no way for the news to reach England except my ship. When a ship finally arrived in England they sent the message by the only means at their disposal. The ship communicated with those on land by the use of semaphore, a system of sending messages by holding the arms or two flags or poles in certain positions according to an alphabetic code. A fog rolled in and only part of the message that was read was  W-E-L-L-I-N-G-T-O-N    D-E-F-E-A-T-E-D… 

They assumed the worst and news of Wellington’s “defeat” swept the country. When the fog finally lifted they received the rest of the message, “t-h-e    e-n-e-m-y.”

In life, Christ’s message to us is sometimes obscured by the “fog” of circumstance. Sometimes in our hectic pace, we jump to conclusions without knowing all the details. Proverbs 25:8  The best advice is to be still until the fog lifts!

The Look

It amazes me that people are able to communicate with each other just by having a certain look on their face. A mother can give her child a certain look and the child knows they are in trouble. A young man, trying to win the heart of a young lady, can tell by the look on hrt face whether his efforts are welcomed. 

When Jesus Christ walked this earth, He conveyed a range of emotions by the way He looked at people. 

  • Matthew 9:36 “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them…”
  • Mark 8:33 “Jesus turned around. He looked at His followers and spoke sharp words to Peter…”
  • Mark 10:21  “Jesus looked at him with love…”

But the most notable look that Jesus gave anyone was when He looked at Peter after Peter betrayed Him. Luke 22:61  “Just then, the Master turned and looked at Peter. Peter remembered what the Master had said to him: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” He went out and cried and cried and cried.”

But Luke fails to describe what that look conveyed. Anger? Sadness? Disappointment? Compassion? Though no one can say for sure, I am inclined to believe it was a look of compassion. 

Sold As Is

Don’t you just love a good bargain? Most of us do. Whether it is a garage sale, second-hand store, or the clearance rack at the mall, we all like a good deal. What we don’t often like is getting home and realizing that our good deal wasn’t that good after all. It was an especially bad deal if we didn’t notice the “as is” tag. Most of us are leery of “as is” items.

Some stores call them slightly irregular, sometimes they are called seconds, but whatever you call them, it is simply another way of saying, “These are damaged goods.” And most stores give you fair warning: This item is sold ‘as is.

All you need to do is interact with another human being, and you will notice that earth is the “as is” section of the universe. Everyone we come in contact with is slightly irregular. All of us have flaws, imperfections, and damage. We all want to be normal, but the writers of the Scriptures insist that no one is normal. “There is none righteous, not even one!” (Romans 3:10) Jesus was quite aware that earth was the “as is” section of the universe. Yet, he came looking for us, knowing how flawed we are.

Jesus understood what it was to see people with their “as is” tag. He also understood that it was his mission to serve the flawed, no matter how big the imperfection.

GPS

Confession: I love electronic gadgets; especially my phone! The GPS is a tremendous help (most of the time.) When I type my destination into my phone, the first question that come on the screen is this: “Directions from current location?” In other words, “Do you want to start where you are?”

Of course I want to start from here. Sometimes I am not sure where “here” is! As soon a I tell the GPS yes, it begins calculating my route – not from where I started before I lost my way, not from the direction I should be headed but from right where I am now!

The most common reason people give for not following Jesus is that they want to get their lives together first. They want to start their journey from somewhere else than where they currently are.

Jesus reaches out to with grace and love and invites you to follow Him, right where you are. Start following Him right where you are and He wants you to start now!

Trust His directions!