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“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

It was Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. I was checking online for the prices of TV’s, trying to make a decision if I had the best price or whether I should wait wait until Cyber Monday. Finally I decided to go for it, and I placed my order with a large retailer that deals in electronics. Immediately I received an email confirmation and was able to arrange my delivery date through the website appointment manager. I chose December 5, between 8 am and noon.  On December 4, I received an email reminder stating “We’ll see you tomorrow.” On December 5, I woke up to receive another email. Guess what it said?  You are correct – “Today is the day.” It wasn’t long until I got a phone call from the company giving me their estimated delivery time. I no sooner hung up the phone when I noticed an email in my inbox stating, “You can expect Matthew to arrive at approximately 10:35 a.m.”  About a half hour later, I looked at my watch. It was just after 10:30, and almost like a little child expecting Santa – “off to the window I flew like a flash.” There he was pulling up in front of my house. Santa??? No, Matthew of course, with my package.

In these days of instant notification, one can track your pizza delivery order being fulfilled, or you can find the location of your online order and its projected appearance at your front door. In addition, young children are able to use the NORAD tracker to find out exactly how much time remains before Santa leaves the North Pole. In the case of my TV delivery, everything worked just like clockwork with nothing left to the imagination. The anticipation of my Christmas gift had been fulfilled. The first Christmas, however, was a bit different. The testimony of the Old Testament prophets provided a long history of faithfulness that the Jewish people would at some future point receive their long-awaited promise of a Messiah (Isaiah 9:6; Jeremiah 23:5; Micah 5:2). This was followed by four-hundred years during which the prophets appear to be silent. Then one day, a teenage girl by the name of Mary, experienced a divine interruption when an angel appeared to her (Luke 1:26-38). Mary’s response was not only humble; it was also courageous. When Joseph discovered his betrothed was with child, who would not have questioned how God would have anything to do with this sudden turn of events? It was an interruption for certain to the matrimony plans he was anticipating.  He could have been bitter, yet through his faith God assured him that this child would bless mankind and “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:18-25).

If somewhere in your lifetime you experienced a divine interruption, then you are in remarkable company.  Selected individuals in God’s Word were simply leading normal lives which were deliberately interrupted to fulfill a greater purpose. The Apostle Paul said – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Joel Olsteen stated it this way: “We all have times when our plans don’t work out. We get delayed, interrupted and inconvenienced. It’s easy to get frustrated and fight against everything that doesn’t go our way. But, not every interruption is bad. Every closed door doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong. Every delay doesn’t mean you’re not where you’re supposed to be . . . The next time you’re interrupted, delayed or inconvenienced, don’t start thinking, ‘This is a pain. This is getting me off schedule.’ No, get a new perspective. Look for what God wants to do because it could be divine interruption or divine protection. Trust Him today because He is directing your steps.”  Christmas is a time for remembering the greatest interruption which ever occurred. After all, the small hands of the innocent Christ-child born in a stable in Bethlehem were the same ones which only a few decades later would be nailed to a cross on Calvary in His fulfillment as the Savior for all mankind. Like Jesus, when we surrender to God’s interruptions – we can rest in the knowledge that He always has a higher purpose for us. Little do we sometimes know that when our lives are divinely interrupted, what may appear as a tragic ending may only serve to become a beautiful beginning.

REFLECTION: Can you attest to having experienced a divine interruption at some point in your life? How did you become a different person as a result, or have you drifted back into your ‘old self’? Are there ways that you might start anew this Christmas to serve Him more profoundly?


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