Today I had some important projects to accomplish on my to-do list, and as soon as I prayed, took a shower, and was ready to sit down for the tasks, my plans were “interrupted.” My husband Ray asked me to please give him a back and neck rub as they were hurting. He works hard on 24-hour shifts as a paramedic at the hospital to provide for our family, and I knew immediately that this would help him to relax. So I had three options:
- Tell him no, that I had too much to do today, thus qualifying for the “bad wife” award;
- Tell him yes, but get little else done and inwardly resent it (let’s keep this blog real, ok?)
- Willingly and cheerfully do this for my hard-working man, after an attitude adjustment (translation: telling him yes, but going to get a cold drink in town first and praying for God to help me to be a servant. I know all of you much better wives out there would have said, “Sure, honey!” right away with a big smile on your face. I’m working on it!).
I chose option #3, and as a result Ray and I were both blessed with some much needed, intimate time alone!
There are times in our hectic lives when we will have “divine interruptions” in our schedules. You may feel frustrated and wonder if you will ever get those “important” things done today. Jesus experienced this, too.
His Touch (Luke 8:40-56, The Message)
40-42On his return, Jesus was welcomed by a crowd. They were all there expecting him. A man came up, Jairus by name. He was president of the meeting place. He fell at Jesus’ feet and begged him to come to his home because his twelve-year-old daughter, his only child, was dying. Jesus went with him, making his way through the pushing, jostling crowd.
In the crowd that day there was a woman who for twelve years had been afflicted with hemorrhages. She had spent every penny she had on doctors but not one had been able to help her. She slipped in from behind and touched the edge of Jesus’ robe. At that very moment her hemorrhaging stopped. Jesus said, “Who touched me?”
When no one stepped forward, Peter said, “But Master, we’ve got crowds of people on our hands. Dozens have touched you.” Jesus insisted, “Someone touched me. I felt power discharging from me.”
When the woman realized that she couldn’t remain hidden, she knelt trembling before him. In front of all the people, she blurted out her story—why she touched him and how at that same moment she was healed. Jesus said, “Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!”
While he was still talking, someone from the leader’s house came up and told him, “Your daughter died. No need now to bother the Teacher.” Jesus overheard and said, “Don’t be upset. Just trust me and everything will be all right.”
Going into the house, he wouldn’t let anyone enter with him except Peter, John, James, and the child’s parents. Everyone was crying and carrying on over her. Jesus said, “Don’t cry. She didn’t die; she’s sleeping.” They laughed at him. They knew she was dead.
Then Jesus, gripping her hand, called, “My dear child, get up.” She was up in an instant, up and breathing again! He told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were ecstatic, but Jesus warned them to keep quiet. “Don’t tell a soul what happened in this room.”
Jesus had something very important to do that day: heal a critically ill child! And on his way, a woman interrupted his agenda, having the gall to appear in public unclean (hemorrhaging qualified her as ritually unclean in that culture), pushing through all the crowd, and touching the hem of His garment.
Jesus could have severely rebuked this woman for even being in public with her “unclean” condition, much less touching Him without His permission (which could cause Him to be “unclean.”) To top it all off, this interruption caused a long delay – precious time that could have been used to heal Jairus’ little girl. We all know that minutes, even seconds, can make all the difference in the world in a medical emergency.
But the Lord didn’t chastise this woman. Instead, He had great compassion on her. He perceived her great need; He saw that it was a divine interruption from God Himself. Jesus commended the woman for her faith, and confirmed her miracle healing. He then blessed her with His peace.
Jesus knew what it was like to be constantly “interrupted” with people’s demands and needs as He went about His daily life here on earth. Yet He never minded ministering one-on-one to others. This is why He was sent into the world – to save the lost, to heal and deliver, to show others the Father’s love, forgiveness, and mercy.
Ray was not hemorrhaging or unclean like this woman was, but he is a man who needed a healing, soothing touch. May we as Jesus’ followers learn to be like Jesus each day, being His hands, His feet, His heart wherever we go.
PS: After the backrub, I got the things done on my to-list today!