The Interruptible Jesus

Have you ever thought about how much of Jesus’ ministry consists of him caring for people who interrupted him? I wonder how you respond to interruptions?

You’re working on a project and someone diverts your attention. You’re having a conversation with one person and someone else needs something from you. You’re talking to someone and he or she interrupts you.

Yesterday I was praying about these things during the Still Waters day retreat that Kristi and I led for pastors and leaders/caregivers. It’s a joy for us to help people join us in following the Good Shepherd to his green pastures and still waters. For instance, one pastor who said he was “on the edge of burnout” was greatly refreshed by “doing nothing” except being with Jesus. 

How Jesus Responded to Interruptions

During my solitude and silence with Jesus I meditated on the story of the woman with the issue of blood interrupting Jesus as he’s responding to Jairus’ request to heal his daughter (Mark 5:21-43). Not only was Jesus patient with her interrupting him but he commended her urgent reach of faith.

I asked the Lord to help me to respond to people’s interruptions with his graciousness and I wrote in my journal my prayer and what I sensed him speak to my heart.

Jesus, I marvel at how responsive you are.
Time and again people interrupted you
Yet always you were considerate and kind.
This was a huge part of your ministry!

O Jesus, what is your secret?
How is it that you are so patient?

Lord, I’m sorry for when I get irritated
When people interrupt what I’m doing.
You’re the one who puts people in my path —
I’m sorry for when I don’t respond with love.

O Jesus, what is your secret?
How is it that you are so patient?

Bill, you think too much about what you’re doing
And not enough about what I’m doing.
You focus too much on your goal
And not enough on my presence with you.

O Bill, are you listening?
Are you ready to learn?

What you see as interruption
I see as an opportunity.
You see with your own eyes
But I see with the Father’s eyes.

O Bill, are you listening?
Are you ready to learn?

Is it an interruption to stop working
So you can rest and worship on the Sabbath?
Is it an interruption to respond to people,
To care for their needs and offer a blessing?

O Bill, are you listening?
Are you ready to learn?

Like the wind, my Spirit is blowing all around you,
Like a river, my life is flowing through you.
Put up your sail! Push out into the waters!
Participate in what I am doing all around you.

O Bill, are you listening?
Are you ready to learn?

The Way into the Love that is Patient

“Love is patient” (1 Corinthians 14:4). That’s another way of saying that love is interruptible. We’ve all tried to be patient and unhurried but failed! You can’t change by trying — you have to take the indirect route. First you have to experience Sabbath rest. And the way into Sabbath rest is to learn how to be in Solitude and Silence with Jesus.

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