Please Interrupt Me

20150528_LysaTerkeurst_LoveOthers

I wonder if the greatest witnessing tool available to us Christians is often pushed aside because of our busyness.

Recently, I was focused on all the items on my seemingly never-ending to-do list.

As I was sitting at a stoplight, a friend called me and started lamenting that her son had forgotten his lunch and his belt required by the school’s uniform policy. She was stressed and trying to get in touch with her husband who’d just dropped her son off at school. She was at home with a new baby feeling groggy from a sleepless night and overwhelmed by her situation.

Her son could probably get his friends to share their lunches with him. But, the belt would be a problem. The school would call her when they noticed the missing belt and require her to bring one. She lives over 20 minutes from the school.

As I sat at the stoplight listening to my friend, I looked to the store off to my right. That store has belts. That store has lunch food.

I was faced with a decision: Could I help? Well, I could but my schedule would have to be rearranged a bit. Would I help? My friend wasn’t asking, but in that moment I knew it would be a tremendous blessing for her.

This day I wouldn’t let my busyness take precedence over the blessing of divine interruptions. So, I helped.

I don’t know this for sure, but I suspect my friend had been asking Jesus to help her. It’s hard being up half the night with a sleepless baby. It’s hard to find a new normal when life gets a little off-kilter by changes in the family dynamic. It’s hard when you need help but feel like everyone is so busy you hate to bother them.

Now, I’ll admit, I’m a task-oriented person so it doesn’t come naturally for me to look for ways to be interrupted in the midst of my busyness.

But sitting at that stoplight, I realized the power of pausing. Pausing just long enough for Jesus to tap on the edge of my heart and say, “Could you? Would you? Do this as if it’s the most important part of your day and not an unwelcome interruption.”

The Bible teaches one of the most important precepts is love. When we love others, we are living the message of Jesus. And listen to what Psalm 19:8 says:

“The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.”

Oh, how many times have I missed the joy of pausing to live and love and light the world for Jesus? I suspect it’s happened more often than I’d like to admit.

But instead of getting stuck in what I might have missed, I’m choosing to see this as a wake up call. I’m choosing to underwhelm my schedule so God can overwhelm my soul with these opportunities to love.

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  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Lysa,
    It gives interruptions a whole new perspective when we think about the possibility that we may be someone’s answer to prayer….that God is choosing us to be part of a divine plan to work in all things together for His good in someone else’s story. I know how blessed I feel when others set aside their schedules to help me, so how can I say “No” to God asking me to return the favor. Thanks for this urging on to be an answer to someone’s prayers…
    Blessings,
    Bev

  • Christy lb

    Bev, I completely agree with you. I am very grateful when someone helps me out. I never looked at it as maybe they took the time out of their busy schedule to help me. I am ready and willing to interrupt my schedule to help someone that is in need.
    Thank you for sharing this today Lysa.
    God Bless,
    Christy

  • Missindeedy

    What fresh perspective you always bring, Lysa. Lord, interrupt me, today too! And open the ears of my heart to hear You when You do.

  • Maylee

    What a blessing each of us can be to others when we take the time to show others that we care, we love them and just think in that moment, how Jesus light is shining through us. Thank you to all the friends who had went out of their way to pause at the stoplight and given me their time:)

  • Penny

    Lysa,

    My thoughts were like Bev’s , an answer to your friend’s prayer.

    It’s not always easy for people to ask for help. You are a thoughtful friend to be in tuned to your friend’s needs without her having to come right out and ask. I’m sure it will mean alot to her son as well.I know how much it deeply touches my heart when someone goes out of their way for me.
    Thank-you for reminding us to be more in tuned.

    Have a blessed day,

    Penny

  • Paige Estes

    This is GREAT! Especially the part about the interruption now becoming the most important part of the day. YES!

  • JeanneTakenaka

    Lysa, what a beautiful post. And wow, the power of listening. Listening to a friend and hearing the unspoken need? That takes a certain stillness I too often don’t have. This week, the Lord is reminding me of the beauty of reaching out, of stepping out of my “busy” schedule to be there for others. Your post is a perfect next step for me to begin to cultivate. Stillness so I can listen for the interruptions God has waiting for me.

    Loved this today!

  • Gail

    How Beautiful, all of it. I so want to be an answer to prayer! I know when I have listened to His voice, I am sure I received the blessings as much as the one I was blessing! God is so good, and his love for us should influence us to Listen to His voice, to stop more often, and see if there is a need . Thank you so much for this wonderful lesson!

  • http://www.perceptionsandpassions.blogspot.com Kaitlin_Perceptions&Passions

    What a great story!! It reminds me of that song lyric “Was I love, when no one else would show up?” If only we organized our day according to His will!

    • Meghan Weyerbacher

      “Was I love when no one else would show up?” – that’s good. Got me in the gut…

  • http://ChasingHoliness.com/ Brenda

    This part spoke to me: “Could you? Would you? Do this as if it’s the most important part of your day and not an unwelcome interruption.”

    (And it kind of seems as if that is when we’re most blessed ourselves by the act of blessing–When our hearts are all-in. :) )

    Good thoughts today, thank you. :)

  • Jenn

    What a great reminder! I can see myself in both positions and needed to hear this. I am a type A and changes in my schedule don’t happen without LOTS of grace. From the perspective of the mommie of two, I am (in)couraged to know that when I have prayed and feel then urge to share my struggles with a friend I can trust that He will provide for my needs. Whether it is through that friend, which I may not even intent to ask or from another source, hearing this story reminds me that he will provide! It also (in)couraged me that the next time I struggling I can take a step of faith and pick up the phone to call a friend. No more listening to the lies from the enemy that I may be bothering them. He wants me to stay in isolation and I need to rember that we are created for community. Thanks for sharing this (in)coursing story!

  • Beth Williams

    Lysa,
    Life can get busy. When God taps you on the shoulder and whispers in your ear you should listen and obey. Allow a little interruption in your schedule–as you just might be someone’s answer to prayer. On top of that you may get a little joy from knowing you helped someone.
    Last year my aging dad was in hospital and then rehab. On way home from seeing him in rehab we were headed to get food for a neighbor who lost her son. At that time I found out a good friend had both parents in ER. I decided to get them food and take it to them also. I was thrilled to be able to help out and let them all know I cared!
    Blessings :)

  • http://martysmoosetracks.blogspot.com/ Marty

    “I wonder if the greatest witnessing tool available to us Christians is often pushed aside because of our busyness.” OUCH! Thank you for this reminder. :)

  • Leigh

    I’ve never posted, but have been following this blog since late February when I found it by divine intervention – but that is a whole different story. I just really felt compelled to tell you I love this message! I recently finished your Best Yes study, and oh how God has used it to transform me! My prayers are different, my commitments are different, my heart is different. I even picked up an empty cup blowing in the parking lot of a restaurant the other day – not sure if God was calling me to do it or it just reminded me of you. I hear God so much more clearly – Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 stillness, listening when God taps you on the shoulder is an amazing feeling when you act on it. I recently had an opportunity to act on an interruption of my family’s busy life to go and spend a couple days with my sister and help her with her 2 little ones. I must have done 5 or 6 loads of laundry, cleaned out closets and helped organize clothes, toys, baby gear, etc. After reading your post I realize I was living out the message of Jesus by loving on her and helping her not because I wanted to but because God was calling me to. It turned out to be the best visit I have ever had with my sister. What a blessing!

  • Bethan Parmenter

    Many years ago a friend shared with me something that an older lady had shared with her…”Never underestimate the importance of a ministry of availability” That really stuck with me and over the years I have tried to keep space and flexibility in my schedule in order to be available. At times it has been hard when either busy-creep sets in or when I have been tempted to feel guilty for not having something scheduled for every minute of every day. But I know it has been the right thing and I have been blessed by being able to help and encourage others in tiny ways because I had the time. Thanks for a great article to remind me, at a new and challenging season of life, of the importance of availability.

  • Debra Mallow Barron

    What an amazing, yet simple way to show God’s love. I am one who is bothered by interruptions, but now I will stop and think about it. How can I be a blessing to others? How can I pause and reach out to help someone? Interruptions can be one of the greatest blessing if we let them. Thank you Lysa for your testimony!

  • Brenda Meyer

    Many times “interruptions” are the real important work of the day…Good for you, for listening to Jesus and changing your plans a bit to bless someone’s day..

  • http://equippinggodlywomen.com Brittany @ EquippingGodlyWomen

    I love how it’s truly the littlest things that make the biggest differences! All too often, we think that if we can’t do anything major, we can’t do anything, when nothing could be further from the truth!

  • Jeannie Lankford

    After a day of putting out fires at work and thinking about missing God’s calling on my life because I don’t see the fruit- this made me stop and realize that God uses the simple selfless acts of us helping our brothers and sisters with what others would call simple tasks and therefore not give a second thought. Lysa, really appreciate you letting the Lord use you and sharing.