Each moment that we choose to hear God over the din of the world, we are choosing to expand our faith...this is divine interruption.
I remember the first time I ever had someone speak faith into my heart. I was twelve years old and the speaker was Corrie Ten Boom. If you don't know Corrie, check out the amazing book "The Hiding Place". It details the efforts that Corrie and her family made to protect people in The Netherlands from Nazi atrocities. Corrie and her sister spent two years in a concentration camp, and Corrie alone survived. Don't miss this story.
The story behind me being able to spend literally weeks listening to Corrie share the gospel is such a strange example of Divine Interruption that you probably will think what I think about it: No. Way. It's that random. I'll tell ya'll about it sometime, but for now, let me just assure you that God really does have a plan, and his plan was for me to experience faith at that time and in that place. He allowed an elderly lady in sensible shoes to be the vehicle that spoke faith to my heart. God took just the right moment to interrupt my life with the desire for faith. It was my first encounter with a Divine Interruption. In the 47 years that have passed since then, I have experienced many more.
Faith is what we celebrate during this second week of Advent. Faith is God's great gift to us. Even though God's intentions are for each of us to be given a measure of faith, we choose to increase it at our own discretion. This is free will. Most of us want to increase our faith, but here is the deal: opportunities to do so will always come in the form of an interruption to our busy-ness. How we respond to these interruptions determines how and whether our faith will be expanded.
Think about the Divine Interruptions that you experienced during the past week. How did you respond to them? For me, during this week, there were three sets of unexpected house guests each of whom brought with them the reminder that God is still at work in and connected to His creation. The bell rings, there is a knock at the door, Jesus walks in and interrupts me. I could have been too busy or too distracted by my own agenda or just not sociable, but after decades of walking with the Lord I know that Divine Interruptions almost always include other people's needs taking precedence over my immediate desires. And so it is. This is how faith grows.
Another interruption to my agenda this week presented itself as a wild goose chase for shiny, black 3D craft paint. I went to three stores for such a simple item. Every year about this time I need this for a project, and I have always just been able to walk in, pay $1.50 and walk out with shiny, black 3D paint in a squeeze bottle, leaving dozens more on the shelf. Not so in 2020. But through this search for a basic craft item, the Lord sent me a Divine Interruption in the form of a Salvation Army bell ringer who wanted to talk as I stuffed some money in the red kettle. I could have kept walking and, in truth, I wanted to. But I didn't. This encounter left me amazed (again) at how God connects His people to one another in love and unity as we work together to see His Kingdom come. And, I finally found the paint! This was a double win.
I received wonderful and encouraging news which exhorted me to praise. I had unsettling news about a co-worker. Praying again. My husband and I have a significant decision to make...prayers. Our precious daughter in love faced the death of her second grandparent in two weeks, and saw God in a Divine Interruption of her own. Prayers answered. Strength given just in time. God is at work at all times and in all places. All we have to do is allow ourselves to be interrupted, and let those interruptions do their work.
In each and every moment that we choose to hear God over the din of the world, we are expanding our faith, and building a foundation on which we can rely when the world is not so full of lights, generosity and Christmas spirit. We can look back on these times when we need a reminder that this world is not our home; we were made to be eternally with the great I AM. He has chosen to interrupt me in so many times and ways that now I long for those moments. Especially during Advent. But being interruptions, these moments can not be orchestrated or planned. We have to wait with expectancy to receive what God has for us, and be ready receive each interruption with joy.
As we celebrate the Divine Interruption of faith during this second week of Advent, I always think about the shepherds who were watching flocks throughout the night in a field not far to the place where Jesus was born. From Heaven came the entire angel population. In what was perhaps one of the most Divine Interruptions in human history, they took over the skies and sang with all the joy of the universe that the Savior had been born. How did they respond? They ran to Jesus! They did not run in fear, they ran in faith. It was faith that made them do as the angels said and go.
Faith. Divine Interruptions. Being drawn near to the heart of God through His perfect timing and connections. This is the heart of Advent. Faith. Responding to the Divine Interruptions in your life with a glad heart and letting those interruptions change you and strengthen your faith. You are loved, sweet friends. Go and share that love with the world around you!