How Life’s Interruptions Can Be a Good Thing

How Life’s Interruptions Can Be a Good Thing

Dissension and disagreement are everywhere these days, laced with vitriol of the worst kinds. It is almost impossible not to see it. Lines have been drawn, sides have been taken, and people have concluded that if you are not with them, you are against them. Unfortunately, it’s seeped from politics even into the church itself, so that a type of spiritual cancel culture is followed, rather than the biblical Golden Rule of love thy neighbor as thyself.

Starting in 2020 our “normal” was crushed, shutting down everything – businesses, schools, churches, family reunions, vacations, weddings, and funerals. Dreams, plans, and pursuits were shelved. As a nation, we struggled to deal with new fears that included not only death, but financial loss, and the disruption of our life’s normal rhythm.

But eventually, we adapted. We figured out how to navigate the unchartered waters of wearing masks, social distancing, and family politics. And just as we here in the Northeast U.S. were ready to move forward, Hurricane Isaias hit. The power went out, the internet shut down, and the adaptations we made to cope with the pandemic were cut off. Life was once again interrupted.

Wherever you were, there was likely something else to deal with. One thing is sure, we have all had to learn resilience the hard way, and how to endure in faith like never before. But what the enemy meant for evil, God can turn around for our good (Romans 8:28; Genesis 50:20).

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Interruptions and Development of Endurance

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“And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet and begged Him earnestly, saying, ‘My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.’ So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him. Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, ‘If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.’ Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My clothes?’ But His disciples said to Him, ‘You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction’” (Mark 5:22-34).

Jairus, the powerful ruler of the synagogue, had a young daughter who was ill to the point of death. They were desperate for Jesus’ healing touch and time was growing short. But the unnamed woman pushing through the crowd had endured a chronic, debilitating and incurable illness for twelve long years. She also was desperate for a miracle from Jesus, no matter what the cost, so she interrupted the men as they went to heal the young girl.

I don’t believe it was a coincidence. I think the experience was divinely deposited into the Scripture because God is saying, in order to make it to the other side of life’s constant interruptions, we must understand them and develop endurance which is so important to our spiritual success.

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What Is Endurance?

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Endurance is that thing that makes the tired and weak places in us strong, and carries us through the unexpected disruptions of life. It’s often described as a kind of “staying power.” It’s power to stand even when our lives are shaken, power to fight even when our faith seems frail, power to get up even after life has knocked us down, and power to forge forward even when it seems futile. It’s what Paul referred to when he wrote in Ephesians 6:10-13:

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

After 12 years of disappointment, the woman had endurance. How else can you explain her ability to still be looking for a cure or being in a city far from home, seeking out yet another physician, after every other one had failed her. She didn’t even have any money!

How else do you explain her being able to break her quarantine order at the risk of being sentenced to death by Jairus, who had the ability to condemn her for breaking the Mosaic Law? Or her willingness to fight through a crowd in her weakened condition to get to Jesus who was walking away in the opposite direction? This is not normal human endurance, but supernatural.

And it appears she was ordained to be there at that time to help set up Jairus for a lesson in interruptions, endurance and miracles.

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD…” (Psalm 37:23).

The woman was in that city to find yet another medical doctor, but God ordered her steps for a divine appointment with the Great Physician Jesus Christ Himself. But what if she had quit? She would have lost out on her miracle. Endurance allows what God has planned for us to actually happen to us in due time.

And the Bible is replete with examples of the faithful whose endurance allowed them to experience what God had planned for them to happen to them.

Joseph endured betrayal, slavery and imprisonment, and 13 years later became Prime Minister of Egypt.

Abraham endured mistakes with Hagar and Ismael, and the pain of sending them away, 25 years of waiting for the son of promise that God then asked him to sacrifice.

Moses endured the shame of murder and 40 years of humble service tending sheep in the desert, and the rejection of the people he helped liberate from 400 years of slavery.

And Jesus endured 30 years of obscurity, rejection and persecution by the leaders of Israel, betrayal by a close friend, a torturous death on a Roman cross, and the Father turning from Him in His darkest hour. All of these endured disruption and interruptions in life, and eventually received the promises of God for them.

But as Christians, there is more to life than what is happening to us. Our lives are not our own. We belong to Him, and our lives are meant to be light in a dark world. Therefore there are always two things going on in the life of the believer – what is happening to us, and what God is doing through us.

The woman’s endurance displayed in Mark 5:22-36 allowed her to receive what God had for her, but it also allowed God to work through her to minister change in the life of Jairus as well.

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Just What He Needed

Man with head bowed in prayer

Jairus’ daughter was at the point of death; so getting Jesus to his house quickly was Jairus’ only concern. They were pressing through the crowd heading toward his miracle, when suddenly Jesus stopped.

He felt power leave Him and knew that someone filled with faith had intentionally touched him to access healing. He followed up with “who touched Me?”

“But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth” (Mark 5:33).

She spilled out her whole story to Jesus, and her short interruption of Jairus became a long, drawn out and painful interruption – the whole 12-year journey of suffering.

Remember the woman tried to slip away unseen because she feared if she was caught walking out in public while she was ill, she would be put to death. And Jairus, as the ruler of the synagogue, was the one who had the power to put her to death.

To his credit, Jairus sowed the seed of restrained power instead. Perhaps he knew the principle of leadership that, if you misuse power, you place yourself in a position to be judged by God. But when you properly use your power, you place yourself in a position to be blessed by God. If Jairus had misused his power, or not shown mercy with the authority he had, he would have shut down what he actually needed to hear – her testimony of enduring faith! Jesus called her back to testify to her miracle and create hope in the earshot of a despairing father.

“While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?’ As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Do not be afraid; only believe’” (Mark 5:35-36).

One could argue that the woman’s interruption caused the girl to die before Jesus’ arrival. That’s a shallow way we often deal with life’s interruptions: blame someone else and refuse to deal with our issues. But I believe Jesus knew the girl would die before they arrived, and what Jairus really needed was a transfusion of radical faith.

He needed more than to hear a good sermon from a popular teacher. He needed more than a faith healer who could rebuke sickness. He needed to watch the Lord of Life in action, with his own eyes, the Son of Righteousness talked of by the prophets, the Messiah of Israel who had resurrection power. And Jairus needed that kind of faith because his daughter’s life depended on it.

“…He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying. Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, ‘Talitha, cumi,’ which is translated, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise.’ Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement” (Mark 5:40-42).

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The World Needs Your Testimony!

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“Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works! Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD! Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore! Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth” (Psalm 105:1-5).

Never quit! Life is full of interruptions, but you may just need that interruption to develop enduring and radical faith, and through endurance, you will experience God’s amazing miracles.

Remember to tell of the wondrous works of God in your life, in your family, and your situation. Tell others what He has brought you through. Tell them how He sustained you, helped you, lifted you, healed you, delivered you, carried you through to victory. Everything you have gone through has resulted in greater endurance for the future, and is a testimony needed by others when they encounter life’s interruptions.

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Frank SantoraFrank Santora is Lead Pastor of Faith Church, a multi-site church with locations in Connecticut and New York. Pastor Frank hosts a weekly television show, “Destined to Win,” which airs weekly on the Hillsong Channel and TBN. He has authored thirteen books, including the most recent, Modern Day Psalms and Good Good Father. To learn more about Pastor Frank and this ministry, please visit Photo by Michele Roman.