Hurdles of Opportunity

There are times when our own vision is not aligned with what God actually wants to do in a human heart or situation.

Jesus was doing a good thing, teaching the religious elite. Like a seminary lecture would do, he was equipping these men to carry on the message of God. However, the religious leaders almost missed the very best thing Jesus was about to do because they were too caught up in their version of ministry. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God . God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions. We may pass them by, preoccupied with our more important tasks… It is a strange fact that Christians and even ministers frequently consider their work so important and urgent that they will allow nothing to disturb them. They think they are doing God a service in this, but actually they are disdaining God’s ‘crooked yet straight path’” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together [New York: Harper & Brothers, 1954], 99). To love and serve others you have to be willing to be interrupted. A believer can live faithfully, listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and welcome the interruption as opportunities for ministry, instead of a hindrance to ministry. Just as the religious leaders came for teaching, the men came so their friend could be physically healed, but Jesus knew that above all else, it was forgiveness that was the greatest need. Consider the ways your version of ministry might be hindering the divine work that God is trying to get done through you.