I had a schedule, a plan; take care of my children, do devotions, lead Bible Study, and just quietly live life like a “good” Christian.
What I hadn't expected was the storm of interruptions, the journey God had me on, filled with more curved than straight lines, more difficult than easy living.
Maybe your like me, you grew up dutiful going to church. You live life just trying to do the right things, never making waves or swaying from your perfect agenda.
But what if I told you God doesn't care if your life is messy? What if I told you He might want to interrupt your plans of carefully calculated religious practice and methodical Christianity?
There was a woman who interrupted Jesus, urgently bellowing her request, “My daughter is miserably and distressingly and cruelly possessed by a demon!” (Matt 15:22)
Jesus was a Jew. Some commentators think He was on a mission, others say He was resting after ministry, not needing the distractions of some unknown lady who wildly proclaimed her daughter was crazy.
To her cries, Jesus was simply silent. (Matt 15:23)
Have you ever felt that way too? You called out to Jesus and seemingly He was silent?
The disciple's followed her inconvenient pleadings with, “Send her away”.
But Jesus finally answered her persistence cries with, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”.
And I “get” it. This lady wasn't in His schedule. She didn't make an appointment. In fact, she wasn't even part of the people group Jesus himself claimed He was sent to.
While most of us would shrink back or say, “Maybe it just isn't Jesus will my daughter be healed”, what made this stranger keep persisting, reaching in closer, kneeling, and start worshiping, praying, “Lord, help me”?
Some say Jesus calls her a dog after that. Others think Jesus was implying that her people are dogs when He said, “It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs”. (Matt 15:26)
Either way, Her faith didn't grow cold, but grew stronger with each interaction she had, with Jesus.
Doesn't our faith grow too, each time we purposely commune with Him?
“Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master's table,” was her reply. (Matt 15:27)
Now, I am sure by this time, this woman was despised by the disciples. “Leave Him alone”, they must have been thinking.
But, what I love about sinners, the desperation found in the least of these, is that they don't care about protocol, agendas. They aren't cautious, or calculated, or worried about impressing the right kind of people.
All they want is Jesus...and they'll do anything to find Him.
Jesus then uses this woman's faith as an example to the disciples. After that,He seemingly rewards her persistence by bringing about her daughter's deliverance, declaring, “Great is your faith! Be it done for you as you wish.” (Matt 15:28)
Her daughter was cured from that very moment.
And I wonder if in our religious systems sometimes...if in my list of “must do's” and schedules needing fulfillment...if there is room for welcomed interruptions.
Scripture almost screams of how accommodating Jesus was to those who seemingly thwarted his intentions.
How often to do we let faith lead our footsteps? How much of our life is Spirit-led and interrupt-able
Though born, raised, and still living only miles from where she grew up, Jen's heart lies in the nations. Jen loves the beautiful tapestry found in the wide diversity of people, different cultures, and all nations. Jen and her husband have been married twenty years, and have parented fifteen kids and counting; twelve foster, one adopted, and two bios. Her multi-racial family reflects her passion for unity, desire for faith without walls, and missional mindset to share both the gospel and the power of redemption to a world desperately needing the hope found in Jesus Christ. Jen and her husband have led in a variety of ministries; including prayer, small groups, children's, and women’s. Jen advocates for the orphan as a board member for the non-profit, A New Song; and loves doing missions work internationally, along with her family. You can find Jen writing about faith, while challenging her readers at her blog, Rich Faith Rising, as well as at tweeting faith-filled messages @Jen_Avellaneda . Jen is also on facebook.
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