November 5, 2011
A Divine Interruption
Author and motivational Christian speaker, Wendy Blight, shared some thoughts that inspired me to look at the biblical story of Jonah differently and understand how it applied to me personally, today. I hope her words help you, too.
"I couldn't wait to spend the whole afternoon alone. My husband was mountain biking and both of our children had plans for the day. All I could think of was the fact I would spend hours by myself...no one asking for anything...no one needing me. It was going to be a glorious day!
But then it happened. My daughter came bursting through the door saying she forgot she had a project due the next day. She needed me to take her here and rush there to purchase items she needed to complete it. Soon it became our project.
Frustration rose up within me with every step of the way. My words were few and short. I was clearly irritated and did not hesitate showing it. She was interrupting my plans.
Jonah experienced an unwelcome interruption, too. Jonah was a prophet to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He was popular, successful, and highly respected. Then one day it happened.God interrupted his life of comfort with a command to leave his beloved country and people to preach—not to God's people—but to one of their most hated enemies.
God's call would take Jonah's life down a completely different path than the life he currently enjoyed. Jonah felt angry and frustrated...the same way I did when my daughter came bursting into the house...the same way we all do when an interruption disrupts our lives whether it be an adult child coming back home to live, an unexpected pregnancy, a job loss, a startling diagnosis or an unforeseen move.
Jonah was frustrated to such an extreme that he not only disobeyed God's instruction, he ran in the opposite direction to get as far away from God as he could.
If only Jonah could have seen the end of the story. He would have seen that this "divine" interruption was an invitation to participate in one of the more miraculous events in history, an opportunity to be part of God's eternal plan for His Kingdom.
Eventually Jonah obeyed, and God used him to bring about the revival of an entire nation of people. Jonah spoke only eight words, "Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed" (Jonah 3:4 NLT), and within 24 hours the people of Nineveh repented and turned from their wickedness! Some scholars believe this to be the greatest revival in human history.
Jonah's story helps me redefine "interruptions." In fact, it has made me examine every interruption to see if God's hand is in it...if there is something divine in which He is inviting me to partake.
Just a few weeks ago, we took our daughter to college. I would give anything to have that divine interruption back...to have an entire afternoon to shop with her and spend time working on a project together."
How might Jonah's story help you see the interruptions in your life differently?
Wendy is a survivor of a violent crime. She has endured unimaginable heartache and pain. Although fear held her captive for over a decade, her story is now an amazing testimony of God’s strength in our weakness, His hope in our hopelessness,and His healing in our brokenness.
Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story
One week after Wendy’s college graduation, she walked into her apartment to find a masked man holding a knife and waiting for her at the top of the stairs. The man spent the afternoon physically and sexually assaulting Wendy, leaving her changed forever. After this terrifying experience, she lived for years cocooned in a prison of fear, despair, and hopelessness. Finally, after years of searching and believing she had nowhere else to turn, she fell on her knees before God and poured out her tears, anger, and questions to Him. Wendy’s story is one of transformation from trauma to rebirth through the power of the Word of God.