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freeway / image from Microsoft Publisher

During a study at church about serving like Jesus served, it was noted that being used by God isn’t always convenient. Being interrupted is to be expected, even embraced, if we want to be God’s instrument.

It got me thinking. When I have failed to obey God and speak to someone about Christ’s unconditional love, does that mean God’s entire plan was ruined? Does it mean that person never got to hear the good news? That’s a chilling thought.

Proverbs 3:28 says, “Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you’—when you already have it with you.”

Disobedience hurts. In Luke 11:28, Jesus said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

In the early 1990s when my aunt was dying, the Lord spoke to my heart, telling me to go tell her about His love. She was in a facility over 30 miles away. It was getting dark. My gas tank was empty. Those were my excuses. I didn’t go. She died a couple of days later.

In the early 2000s I gave a surprise birthday party for my husband. My neighbor was in the late stages of lung cancer, but she attended and stayed a long time waiting for him to come home. Soon after his arrival she had to go home to rest.

Two days later, while cleaning my refrigerator, I went next door to offer her and her husband extra hotdogs and buns. She told me to put them in the freezer in their garage. When I came back in, she scooted to the end of the sofa, patted the spot beside her, and said, “Come here. Sit with me a while and let’s talk.”

Sadly, my focus on a spotless kitchen gave me tunnel vision. “I’m cleaning my refrigerator and really need to get back home.” The opportunity never again presented itself before she died. Epic fail!

These two incidents have haunted me to tears. I am so sorry.

Jeremiah 29:11-14a says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord . . .’”

I don’t believe that these two dear women left this life without hearing about God’s goodness. Even if I wasn’t the one to share with them, they certainly heard. God would see to that. His plan didn’t rest solely on my unfocused shoulders. Maybe they’d heard of His magnificent love long before God told me to speak with them.

But what about me? Maybe I was supposed to talk with them because He had something important to say to me through them. Disobedience brings disappointment. Perhaps I missed out on blessings because I didn’t obey.

My sister and brother-in-law once drove three hours in the middle of the night because one of his sisters called and said she wanted to know more about Jesus. Talk about being interrupted! At 3:00 the next morning they prayed with her and she asked Jesus to be her Lord and Savior. What a blessing!

In Acts 5:29, when told to stop teaching in Jesus’ name, Peter and the other apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than human beings!”

Now I’m determined that nothing will intimidate me or stand in my way when God calls me to speak to someone about His precious Son, Jesus! Won’t you join me in living a life interrupted?

If this post was an encouragement today, consider sharing with your loved ones.

Reading God’s Story Schedule today, 10/24/13: Luke 12:1-13:30.

Join hosts Page and Cindy on Facebook where we are discussing today’s reading. Everyone is invited to join by clicking the ‘Join Group’ button. We have 650+ women reading the Bible through together! Join us and invite your friends too!

About Kelly Stigliano

Kelly J. Stigliano has been writing and speaking for over 3 decades. She and Jerry have celebrated more than 30 wedding anniversaries together—all proof of God’s redemptive power! Kelly made bad choices for years and shares the lessons she’s learned along the way, hoping to keep others from making the same mistakes. Because no one benefits when we wear masks, she tries to stay transparent. “Everyone has skeletons in their closets, but my closets don’t have doors on them!”

Encouraged? Share this post...

Kelly Stigliano

Kelly J. Stigliano has been writing and speaking for over 3 decades. She and Jerry have celebrated more than 30 wedding anniversaries together—all proof of God’s redemptive power! Kelly made bad choices for years and shares the lessons she’s learned along the way, hoping to keep others from making the same mistakes. Because no one benefits when we wear masks, she tries to stay transparent. “Everyone has skeletons in their closets, but my closets don’t have doors on them!”

To read some articles I’ve had published, hear about God’s story in my life from the “UNSHACKLED!” radio program or the Focus on the Family broadcasts, see my book, Praying for Murder, Receiving Mercy: From At-Risk to At Peace; My Journey from Fear to Freedom or explore the anthologies I’ve contributed to, please visit my website, www.kellystigliano.com.

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