Matthew 14:13-14 “Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them….”
Jesus had just heard the sordid story of John the Baptist’s beheading. Herod’s act was about as unjust and disgusting as it gets. The grief Jesus felt was real. He sought to be alone. But the crowd followed him, and his compassion for them interrupted his plans. Putting his grief on hold, he stopped to heal them, teach them and feed them (miraculously) before he found solitude for himself.
It wasn’t the first time Jesus allowed his plans to be interrupted. A woman suffering from a twelve-year blood disease interrupted his pursuit of healing the synagogue ruler’s daughter (Luke 8). Friends of a paralytic interrupted his teaching (Luke 5:17). Fear-driven disciples interrupted his sleep (Luke 8:24). A Samaritan woman interrupted his need for rest (John 4). Jesus never complained when compassion called for a change in his plans. The Savior of the world embraced interruptions.
I’m not always so welcoming of interruptions. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t ask God to have his way in me…but then, if I’m not careful, I get so engrossed in my plan, I miss His. The other day I was asked to cover for someone’s negligence. It irritated me. Wasn’t part of my day’s schedule. Wasn’t my responsibility. But God knew I needed to be pulled away from my manmade structure for a while. In the end, the interruption took far less time than I’d imagined. And I experienced something far more important than reaching my day’s goals.
When I realize how many times I’ve interrupted Jesus, how many times his compassion has made room for my needs, it puts my little inconveniences in a clearer perspective. It makes me want to lay down my agenda and more readily pick up his—in whatever shape, form or fashion those divine interruptions arrive.
I’m so thankful I have a Savior who doesn’t mind being interrupted. How about you? Ready to have him interrupt your day?