Ever make plans to do something only to have those plans come to a screeching halt? You think you’re going to accomplish a desired task and then something happens, totally taking you in a different direction. Last week was crazy for us as it started out with my husband losing his job unexpectedly. (Read my post here for a fresh perspective of that day: (https://reststopforthesoul.com/2014/06/24/shocked-but-not-shaken)
The week continued in such a way, that every time I planned to do something, my plans were totally interrupted:
We’d planned to spend the day at the pool with our son and his girlfriend, but then their car broke down. Interruption!
Hurrying out the door, I’d planned to go for a long run in my neighborhood, but then the phone rang and it turned into a 30 minute conversation. Interruption!
I had a long overdue hair appointment, but the friend who does my hair had a family emergency come up and she had to cancel. Interruption!
We’d just put our boat in the lake Friday evening to join friends on their jet ski, but then it rained. Interruption!
It’s one thing if my plans are interrupted once in a while, but it’s another when it happens multiple times over the course of several days! There might be something God is trying to teach me. He has my attention. I’d better be listening.
God is certainly teaching me that I am not in control. It’s not wrong to plan things and organize the time He’s given us, but if I hold too tightly to MY plans, I’m setting myself up for disappointment. If I don’t look to Him when these interruptions occur, I’m bound to be upset. Frustrated. Angry. Demanding.
I am NOT in control, but I serve a God who is. He sees the bigger picture. He has a higher plan. And He knows exactly what I need. And what I’ve seen over the course of these few days of constant interruptions is that other people are in the picture too. IT’S NOT ABOUT ME!
In each of the situations I mentioned above, I could label it an interruption. But when I genuinely pray to see things through God’s perspective and ask Him to show me how to respond, something amazing happens. What I label as interruptions, God sometimes calls interventions. Yes, I can see these events as opportunities when God intervenes and redirects my paths. He then intervenes in my heart and sometimes in the hearts of those around me.
Let me walk you through these interruptions again, but this time, view them through a different lens. God’s lens of interventions:
When the car broke down we couldn’t go to the pool, but over the course of the next several hours, my husband and son got to spend some quality time together under the hood of a car. One-on-one time that would not have happened at a swimming pool. We also got to witness God’s amazing power unfold through prayer. As we were making plans to have the car towed, it suddenly started up. Intervention!
When I was going out the door for a run and the phone rang, it was a family member I hadn’t talked to in a long time. She encouraged me during a much-needed time as I shared with her our situation with Jim’s sudden job loss. Intervention!
After I finally got to complete my run, a neighbor was pulling into her driveway at the exact time I was turning to go home. She was having a challenging morning and needed some encouragement and prayer. If the phone call hadn’t come when it did to delay my run, I would have missed the opportunity. Intervention!
When my hair appointment had to be cancelled, it freed up my day to spend more time with a friend who needed encouragement and allowed me some much-needed time to work on a project I’d been putting off. Intervention!
When we were on the lake and it started to rain, our friends who were riding their jet ski boarded our boat to take cover. I got to spend some quality time connecting with my friend. Time we wouldn’t have had if she’d been on the jet ski. Intervention!
How many times have I missed God’s blessing and overlooked His interventions because I was so absorbed in my own plans? How many times have I missed connecting with someone because I was too angry about my plans being interrupted? How many times have I focused on myself to the point I couldn’t see someone else in need? How many times have I demanded Why God? Instead of whispering What now God?
And so I ask you the same questions, dear friend: Will you allow God to show you His way when your plans are interrupted? Will you allow God to show you His perspective when life doesn’t go as planned? It might be something as trivial as a cancelled hair appointment or it might be something more serious like a sudden job loss. Whatever it might be, I want to encourage you and challenge you to look for what God is trying to teach you in those moments. It might be something he wants to refine in you. Or He may be re-directing your path so you can connect with someone else.
It’s challenging to always respond the right way when our plans are interrupted! We won’t always get it right every time. But I’m so glad I serve a God who is gracious, patient and loving enough to keep giving me opportunities to see His interventions for what they are….and not as interruptions.
Proverbs 16:9 “A man’s mind plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps.”