April 23, 2023
How many of you have been interrupted this week?
Yeah, I know some of you laughed at that sentence, because your answer is, "Too many times to count!"
I personally have a hard time handling interruptions. If you interrupt me, and I seem nice on the outside, I'm probably about to explode on the inside. Because it happens a lot. I'll sit down, time myself to write for 30 minutes, and get to it. I'm 90% sure there's a 95% chance someone will come into my room within 10 minutes (assuming most of my family is home--although, I often interrupt myself anyways). I'll be doing schoolwork, and my youngest brother will say he needs help with understanding 580-1=579, or why the e in late makes the a act differently than in mad. Or I'm about to eat my delicious granola, and someone needs help opening a new carton of milk, so I come back to find soggy cereal.
Did one of those examples strike home? Maybe it's your kids always calling for you, someone always tagging along, or a call wakes you from your nap. Or, maybe I myself am interrupting your happy day by reminding you of interruptions. (If that's so, I'm terribly sorry. Comment below if you need prayer for anger, and I'd be happy to pray. Hopefully you'll feel energized by the end of this post, anyways!)
At one point, I asked myself if it's okay to be alone. Yes! Look at this verse:
"Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself." (Matthew 14:13a, ESV)
This is right after Jesus learned of His cousin's, John the Baptist's, death. It's understandable, especially since Jesus knew he would soon suffer the same fate. There's other times Jesus went away to be alone, too: when he fasted and prayed in the wilderness before starting His ministry (Matt 4:1), to pray before ministry (Mark 1:35), and to recharge and pray after ministry (Luke 5:16).
In the instance I first mentioned, however, Jesus didn't have quiet for long:
"But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns." (Matt 14:13b, ESV)
When I honestly evaluate what I'd do if this happened to me after someone close to me died, I don't believe I'd be the kindest person to these crowds. I probably would run away and hide behind some rock. But Jesus is Jesus--He can send the crowds away well, right? Look at verse 14:
"And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick."
Wow. Jesus didn't send them away, or run away--He ministered to these people. And not only did He minister to them, but He looked past His brokenness and had compassion for theirs. Maybe He even channeled His grief into helping them. And then you know what He does? After this, He performs the miracle of feeding 5,000 men, plus women and children. He did so much for them that day.
It wasn't until after all this that Jesus got His alone time:
"After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone." (Matt 14:23, NASB20)
It makes me wonder how things would change if we looked past what we're going through, and our needs, and had compassion on those around us in their need. It's hard for me to do. But when I think of how those people's lives, and my own, were changed forever by Jesus' compassion, I want to have compassion too.
How can we help others, despite their interruptions this week?
P.S. For those of you wondering, I did get interrupted while writing this post :)