One aspect of Jesus’ life that is important to pay attention to is that he was often interrupted. There are many examples. One day Jesus healed countless people who were brought to him. Early the next day, Jesus headed off to an isolated place, likely to get some rest and pray. Eager crowds wondered where he had gone and after looking for him, they found him. So much for quiet time.
Another time Jesus was teaching inside of a packed house. As he spoke, all gathered must have heard the sound of people on the roof opening up a hole in order to let a paralyzed man down in order to place him before Jesus. Clearly what he had been teaching was put on hold.
Yet another time, Jesus was on a roll speaking to a large crowd. While doing so, his mother and brothers unexpectedly came along to see him, despite the fact he was so busy. Sometime later, the disciples returned from a busy time out in the field. As they began to share with Jesus what they had been up to, Jesus said, “Let’s go off to a quiet place and rest a while.” We are told many people recognized them and saw them leaving. Many people from all over the place began to follow them.
The fact that Jesus was often interrupted began before he was born. Joseph and Mary were forced to travel to Bethlehem for a government census. It is highly unlikely this was in their game plan for the arrival of their newborn. But what is important to note is that the interruptions Jesus experienced all led to blessings in the lives of those around him. The interruptions led to moments of grace, new understandings, and new perspectives. So I have to wonder. Were the interruptions all by chance, or was there a divine hand in their occurrence?
In our lives, all of us are interrupted. Best laid plans sometimes have to be put aside. Could it be that some of what interrupts us are actually grace-filled moments that can lead to unexpected blessings? Clearly not all that happens that we don’t anticipate is positive or good, but it is evident in my life, and I am confident in yours, that some interruptions are blessings in disguise. As we continue in this season of Advent, I invite you to ponder and pray about such blessings.