Who are we to be interrupted? Our lives are full, running over and bulging at the seams.
“I don’t have time to stop. So leave me alone. Why would I listen to you anyway?”
“Because this is God; I need your attention.”
Me: “oh, is this really you God?”
God: “yes, what do I need to do…write it in the sky?”
Me: “well, that would be helpful.”
God: “Those nudges and heartfelt whispers in your ear came from me.”
Me: “ugh…oh. So it wasn’t just my thinkin.”
God: “No. You are too comfortable and there is much to accomplish. This is an interruption.”
Me: “but God, what about all this stuff I want to do. Can’t it wait?”
God: “remember Jonah? He ran away from my call like he thought I wouldn’t know where he was. He knew my intentions but refused to listen so Plan B came into play.”
Me: “OK! OK! OK! Just promise me you will not throw me into a fish!”
Stubbornness is like a harness around our necks. Wearing it with pride we adjust, loosen and stretch it until the fish opens his big mouth.
Scott and Tanya Shipes are missionaries from our church. Home for Thanksgiving from Botswana, Africa. Scott spoke at all 3 services about how God “interrupted” their cozy, convenient lives to do the unthinkable.
You might say they were living the “American Dream.” Family, educated, successful careers, a prestigious position in church and community; what more could they want?
Well, what they didn’t want was to stare face to face with a big fish whose mouth was the size of the American Dream they had acquired.
No, God had other plans for the Shipes and it wasn’t to sit and fill the row of chairs each Sunday at Alice Drive Baptist Church.
A few years ago God messed up their American Dream. He called them to Africa. Now, I can’t say for sure but I never heard him say that was on their to-do list; ever.
Everything changed. The tug God was pulling removed them from their sheltered row to change the hearts of people on the other side of the world; and it is working.
The conversation of “God, can’t it wait?” happened to me years ago. I actually remember saying those very words to him as he threw his fishing line once again to catch me.
He allowed me to go further into the deep waters but his hook remained intact. He was interrupting me; causing me further agony as I tried to push him away or promise him,
“I will do what you want later, but right now I am having too much fun.”
As time passed, I would notice a voice, a nudge or the fishing line pulling me. Little by little he continued reeling me in until one day I began to drown in my own sea of smudge.
Funny, how we can get ready to follow God really quick when we feel the undertow pulling you away from him.
Now, many years later his fishing line has reeled me in leaving my soft, warm, complacency behind. I won’t say it has been easy. God reminded me of how he told Abraham to gather his family, and belongings and go to another land he didn’t know existed.
Genesis 12:1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.”
God promised Abraham he would be a great nation, blessed and be a blessing to others.
I am no Abraham, not even close but I can relate. While God was uprooting our lives, stripping us of all that we thought was secure, I found faith to trust him as I had never done before.
We arrived in our “Land of Canaan” and immediately I felt a sense of peace that was different. We knew no one. Knew very little about this land, but God made it clear to me we were in the center of his will.
And as it was for Abraham, it has been for us. The rest is history.
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