My husband, Mark, and I are enjoying the ability to travel and visit family and friends once again. In Red Deer, we headed out for our usual 3-mile morning hike but being unfamiliar with the city, we planned to just circle the neighbourhood a few times to get our steps in. However, seeing a wooded area and hoping to find a trailhead, we decided to be adventuresome and cross the street.
That is when we met Sylvia, a friendly and vivacious 80-year-old, long-time resident of Red Deer. Playing the tacky tourist, Mark asked Sylvia if she knew of any hiking trails nearby. Not batting an eyelash at the intrusion, Sylvia graciously welcomed us to join her.
For the next two hours we happily chatted with Sylvia and got a personal tour as we walked the most gorgeous winding pathways along the Red Deer River. Finally, we arrived in front of our delightful hostess’ condo and after a parting blessing and prayer, Mark and I went on our way. As we marveled over the stunning scenery we had enjoyed and the amazing time we had spent with this special lady, we realized that we could have easily walked right on by and missed this wonderful experience if we had not crossed the street and been open to striking up a conversation with a stranger.
I wonder how many times we sail right by a blessing that God has for us because we fail to recognize and respond to a divine interruption He has placed in our pathway.
In Exodus 3, God shows up in a burning bush. A former Egyptian prince who has been demoted to shepherding his father-in-law’s sheep notices this strange phenomenon and decides to turn aside to see why the bush does not burn up. It is not until “the LORD saw that he had gone over to look” that God calls to Moses from within the bush and tells him that He is raising him up as a deliverer for the enslaved Israelites. That simple act of noticing and responding to God’s divine interruption garnered Moses a leading role in God’s plans and purposes that are still powerfully liberating lives today!
In Luke 24:15-35, two of Jesus’ disciples are walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus. They are bewildered and broken-hearted because their Rabbi, Jesus of Nazareth, a man they believed to be the promised Messiah, had been unexpectedly crucified three days prior. As they discuss those events, they are suddenly joined by Jesus, himself. However, they do not recognize him.
Jesus begins to explain the prophecies about himself found in Scripture, and they hang on his every word. As they near Emmaus, Jesus continues on as if he is going farther, but they urge him strongly, “Stay with us…” and he does. It is only when he breaks bread with them that their eyes are suddenly opened and they recognize him, just as he disappears. They waste no time returning to Jerusalem to tell the other disciples, all the while exclaiming, “Were not our hearts burning within us as he talked to us?”
God is all around us and He longs to break into the mundane moments of our lives, with the glory of His Presence; inviting us to partner with Him in His plans and purposes. I hope you will join me in making room for divine interruptions!