Pastor’s Pen: Heavenly Interruptions

“At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and his family were baptized.” – Acts 16:33
What an amazing story we find in the Philippian jail. The miracle of the earth- quake and the open doors is only a small part of the work that God was doing. The larger miracle involved the changed lives of those who believed that night. The same source of water that the jailer offered for the washing of the evangelists’ wounds proved worthy for his baptism once he had believed. And the Scripture records that “he was filled with joy because he had come to be- lieve in God – he and his whole family” (Acts 16:34b).
This story reminds me of the “one the way” stories: the ten lepers who were healed on the way to show themselves to the priests; the disciples who met the risen Jesus on the way to Emmaus. In this story, the Philippian jailer who experienced a miracle at the jail immediately began to care for Paul and Silas, and, on the way, he and his whole house discovered the love and mercy of God.
Most of our lives are spent on the way to somewhere else. We often think our starting points and destina- tions are the important places, but we find that the journey is the place where we encounter God. It often isn’t when we’ve arrived safely and have unpacked and are getting comfortable that God intervenes in our lives. Instead, it’s when a Samaritan encounters a wounded traveler beside the road, or when a man named Simon visits Jerusalem and finds himself forced to carry a cross to Golgotha, or when a man named Saul is on the road to Damascus, that God chooses to enter lives and change them forever.
It shouldn’t surprise us that God uses times like these to enter our lives. They are probably the times when we’re not in control, times when God can show us that he can be trusted to order our lives in ways we never
expected. They are probably times when we don’t want to be interrupted, but times when God wants us to see that our lives will never suffer from the imprint of His will.
I’ve never cared much for interruptions. I like getting things done on my own schedule. Too often, I throw up a quick prayer requesting God’s blessing on an itinerary I never submitted for His approval. As a re- sult, my plans often require interruptions when God lovingly intervenes, reenters my life, and reminds me of His love.
I recommend these heavenly interruptions to you. Upon immediate consideration, they become but one more task in a long line of things to do. But as we begin to see them for what they are, they become recognizable opportunities for growth and conversion. In retrospect, they are the moments when we feel clos- est to God and to others. Learn to recognize them for what they are – miracles of God’s grace when He shares a little more of Himself with us on the way.
Prayer: Help me, Father, to give myself to you contin- ually, especially when my busyness would keep me separated from you and from others. Amen.
Pastor Schultz

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