I wrote this article just weeks before the first March 2020 coronavirus lockdown. Little did I know then how important it would be to stay flexible towards interruptions over the last year!
The last three weeks have seen health interruptions in our family.
Our son Luke contracted conjunctivitis (pink eye) which made him a bit miserable but still able to function. The week after, he came down with a cold and ongoing fever. Into our third week, he injured his hand at nursery with a potential bone fracture on his left thumb. Luckily, the thumb has been examined and it should heal just fine on its own. However, Luke’s cold has now been making the rounds with my husband, daughter and me!
My first reaction with illness of any kind is usually annoyance. “Really? Does it have to be right now?” I seem to ask myself this even though I know it won’t help.
Still, even with an initial bad attitude, growth must be happening in my heart because after the initial frustration, I then realise God’s walking through this journey with me even if there are some unplanned detours. Instead of moaning about ailments, I am challenging myself and others to look at the bigger picture. What can God teach us through times of interruption? I’ve listed a few:
Patience is one thing we can learn while forced to wait. When we have a cold or sickness, rest and time to be still are necessary to help our bodies become well again. As we physically wait to get better, we can also ask God to heal us spiritually, repairing our hearts from hurt and sin. Learning patience helps us to calmly rest in the assurance that God is with us even through an interruption.
We also learn perseverance to keep on going when it feels like we might as well give up. Perseverance means we choose to acknowledge God’s sovereignty and that not only will He get us through life’s challenges, but He will work something good through it.
As a mother of a nearly eight-year-old and five-year old, having flexibility has been such a valuable lesson. Holding loosely to my plans so that when the things I’m doing are interrupted by the kids, I can adjust to what they need. God teaches us to be okay with things not always going to plan.
Peace comes when we learn that our first reaction should be to pray for the situation we’re in. Most interruptions are unwanted but we can see it as another opportunity to trust God more and embrace His rich life for us. Inviting God’s peace to rest on us, helps prevent us being ruled by worry and stress.
Grace for each day. Jesus’ grace is enough for you today, tomorrow, and always. It is a well that doesn’t run dry. Each day his mercies are new each morning. Through interruption, we can practise more of God’s grace as the Holy Spirit gives us what we need to handle the situations we didn’t plan on.
Unplanned interruptions are always going to be part of earthly life. Maybe yours is a bad cold. Or perhaps it is your child that is ill and all the normal routines have had to be put on hold. Have you been stuff in traffic, and wondering when you’ll ever get off the motorway? Perhaps you’ve just been stuck indefinitely on an aeroplane waiting to have mechanical problems fixed? Maybe a recent storm has cut the power to your neighbourhood and electricity for the refrigerator and appliances is off. Maybe life plans have been put on hold and you need to reevaluate which direction to go next.
Whatever your interruption looks like, don’t stay in the annoyance and frustration with it. Give it to God, laying all your questions, worries and disappointment down at His feet. Soften your heart so God can use the interruptions to grow his good character within you. Nothing, even lost time, is ever wasted in God’s kingdom.
Let’s allow Him to produce within us amazing things, even through the interruptions.