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The phone rings. I place the task I am currently involved in on hold and answer, but my mind is focused on the task, not the caller. Has that ever happened to you? I ask the Lord to open a door, or bring someone into my life who needs prayer or a special word from Him, and when they call, all I can think about is the work I still have to do.
I pray for opportunities to meet new people, to share the love of Jesus with, and when I am asked to speak to some seniors two days in a row, all I can think about is how tired I am already. I even look beyond the opportunities to the time when I’ll be able to put my feet up again.
Jesus took His disciples to Gethsemane and as Mark writes in his book, chapter 14, verse 38, Jesus says, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” That’s me. My spirit is willing but my flesh is weak.
I have experienced many times when God has provided all the strength I need to do what He asks and yet I look beyond the opportunity, instead of finding joy in the opportunity. Jesus knows us so well. We need to pray in order to resist the temptation to grumble and complain, to feel inadequate or weak. Prayer fortifies us, helps us focus on Him and what He is doing all around us. Jesus went off by Himself to pray but He wanted His disciples to pray with Him, where they were. But they gave in to the temptation to rest and fell asleep, didn’t they?
When the phone rings, I need to be thankful that God thinks I can be of some help to the person on the other end. I need to be ready with a word of encouragement or sensitive to a prayer need. Whatever I was working on is not nearly as important as the person on the other end of that line. I need to appropriate God’s power to do the things He’s placed in front of me, and not give into the temptation to say “no” to another opportunity to minister to someone.
Live one day at a time. Look after the things God places in your life today. Open your heart to opportunities to pray for someone or to provide a listening ear. It’s hard to encourage anyone when we are filled with what we could or should be doing instead. Fill your day, as you go about your tasks, in communion with the Father, and you will be more open to God orchestrated interruptions.