October 11, 2016
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 11 October 2016
For one of my seminary degree programs, I submitted my lecture notes as a component of the course requirements. One of the feedback comments I received was appreciation for my “detailed, personal notes, including the coffee stained pages.” Many nights in preparation for a final paper, I was dependent upon my notes, and one of those nights I had spilled coffee everywhere: the desk, my laptop, my papers, my clothes, and the carpet. I still have permanent coffee stains in my current desktop keyboard from a prior accident. The unexpected interruption suddenly altered my task. “At least,” I thought, “nothing worse could occur for the remainder of the evening.” Of course, I am not superficial to think spilled coffee is equivalent to what is occurring in our world (such as Hurricane Matthew). Nevertheless, unexpected interruptions make it difficult to remember your objectives.
What I have just shared is frivolous; yet considering the nature of interruptions in regards to our priorities is invaluable. In Mark 5, Jesus encountered “a woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years.” At the time of the interruption, Jesus had departed with “one of the synagogue officials named Jairus” whose little daughter was near death. As we say in popular expression, Jesus had “places to go and things to do.”
Jesus did heal merely to ease human suffering or to demonstrate his power. Jesus healed because the healing authenticated Him as the Messiah. Jesus was accomplishing the work for which He was commissioned. The woman was a distraction, which she knew, and thus thought to just touch Jesus’ garments to be made well. Her belief was superstitious, yet faith nonetheless. Jesus was pleased with the woman, and said to her, “‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.’” Healing the woman was not a task on Jesus’ agenda. Can you relate to such interruptions? My day, week, and month (even months in advance) is planned. Inevitably, someone or something tends to interfere with my plans.
How should we respond to bothersome interruptions? First, remember that God is the Lord of interruptions. In Acts 16, Paul, Silas, and Timothy were attempting to reach Bithynia, yet “the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them.” We may rightly assume the experience to be an interruption. Later, in Acts 27, Paul was shipwrecked while sailing for Rome (a journey that began with unplanned arrest in Jerusalem). There was one interruption subsequent to another disruption.
Scripture reveals how God “works all things after the counsel of His will” (Eph 1:11). Whatever we may think God is accomplishing in our lives, it is most certainly not an interruption to Him. We can never have God at our disposal to help further our own agendas. The book of James reminds us, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead , you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that’” (James 4:13-15). Adopting the biblical principle will allow us to overlook the irritation and regard the interruption with gratitude. Ephesians 5:20 affirms the truth that believers ought to be “always giving thanks for all things.”
Your Capitol Missionary-Pastor,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.