“Pilgrim Reflections” - “Divine Interruptions”

December 14, 2022

As someone once said, “There are burning bushes everywhere; we simply have to be looking for them.”

Yes, it was a burning bush that wasn’t consumed by the flames that caught Moses’ attention that day (Exodus 3:1-2). But, it wasn’t until he “turned aside to see why it wasn’t burned up” that God spoke to him (vv.3-6).

Even though we say “Curiosity killed the cat,” such is not the case when it comes to “consecrated curiosity,” i.e., a deep desire to know God, what He’s up to and His Will for our lives.

And, it is this “hungering and thirsting” after Him. . .and our insatiable desire to “know Him and the Power of His Resurrection” (Matthew 5:6; 6:33; Philippians 3:10). . .that helps us to experience God and have intimacy with Him.

In reality, that was the case with Mary and Joseph in the Christmas Story (Mt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38). In both cases, God suddenly turned their lives upside down.

In Mary’s case, the angel, Gabriel, suddenly appeared in her house—causing her to be “troubled and cast down (perplexed) in her mind” (Lk. 1:26-29). Who of us wouldn’t have reacted the same way? The answer is “Every one of us!”

Yes, it’s not every day that an angel shows up while we’re washing dishes, sweeping the floor or making the bed. And, it’s certainly not every day that we’re told God’s fixing to do something miraculous in our lives (even though we secretly wish He would).

Regardless, someone had to be Jesus’ earthly mother—and Mary was the one chosen (v.28). And, thankfully, her response was “Be it unto me according to Your Word” (v.38).

In reality, the same was true with Joseph: a poor carpenter from Nazareth who was likely building the bridal chamber when “the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream” (Mt. 1:20).

He’d already learned that Mary was pregnant—and he was already “minded to put her away privately” (v.19), instead of having her stoned for infidelity as the Law allowed.

But, suddenly, one night the “best-laid plans of mice and men” became a reality for him: because the angel told him that he was also a part of God’s Plan (vv.20-23). In other words, he’d become the earthly, adoptive father of the long-awaited Messiah.

So, “being raised from sleep, Joseph did as the angel of the Lord had bidden unto him and took unto him his wife” (v.24). In other words, they announced that they were changing the wedding date and getting married NOW!

Wow! No wonder “God’s Thoughts and Ways are higher than ours” (Isaiah 55:8-9)—and no wonder Mary’s response (“Be it unto me according to Your Word”) should also be ours when God is about to do something unexpected and unusual in our lives.

The key is trusting Him and then surrendering to Him.

It’s saying “Speak, Lord, I’m listening” (I Samuel 3:10). It’s asking “What would You have me to do?” even as Saul did that day on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:6). And, it’s responding the way Isaiah did that day after “seeing the LORD high-and-lifted up” (Is. 6:1-4):

“Here am I, send/use me” (v.6).

“Divine Interruptions” are God-appointed encounters where He gets our attention through an event, a person or both (Hebrews 13:2).

They may start as a seemingly insignificant event or encounter; but, soon, we realize they were much more than that. And, it’s at that point where we must sign on the dotted line on the proverbial blank sheet of paper and say “Lord, You fill in the blanks as You see fit.”

Yes, it’s all about surrender: a “letting go and letting God.”

Or, as Jeremiah discovered at the potter’s house (Jer. 18:1-6), it’s remembering we’re the blemished clay and He’s the Potter; then, it’s trusting Him to “remake us as seems best to Him” (v.4).

In reality, that’s part of the Message of Christmas: trusting and entrusting our lives to the Heavenly Father, even as Jesus did from the cradle to the Cross.

(NOTE: If you’d like to contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily e-mail devotional, entitled “Morning Manna,” you can write him at P.O. Box 614, Mulberry, AR 72947 or e-mail him at pressingon@hotmail.com).