Updated: Mar 26, 2020
dis·rupt /disˈrəpt/ (v.)
That word seems to sum up a lot of our experience these days, doesn’t it? School, sports seasons, the Olympic games – not to mention travel, jobs, and the entire economy. It’s hard to think of many areas of life that aren’t disrupted.
It’s interesting that we think of disruptions as exceptional. The very word says so: “dis” means the undoing of something normal. Think dys-function, dis-combobulation. We have words like this because we share a sense that there is a way things should be. It’s just that so often, reality doesn’t live up to that sense. (And how wonderful are the fleeting moments when we take a deep, satisfied breath and think, Now this is what it should be like.) Go ahead, take a minute to go to that happy place…
Scripture says that there will be a time when all will be made right, at the restoration of all things (Matthew 19:28; see John Eldredge’s excellent book, All Things New). Surely, we pray and work toward this each and every day. But the consummation is still out ahead of us. So we shouldn’t really be surprised that disruption of that reality is at work around us. In fact, the story of humanity – and certainly the story of God’s people in the Bible – is one disruption after another.
In my daily devotions on the Daily Audio Bible, I’m hearing about Israel’s time wandering in the wilderness. Then they enter the promised land, but then comes the turbulent period of the judges. Then they get a king, but soon that kingdom is torn in two. Then comes the exile, and on and on. Whatever story God is telling, it doesn’t come easy.
Author Henri Nouwen wrote, “I used to complain about all the interruptions to my work until I realized that these interruptions were my work.”
Our lives – my life – feels inter-rupted. Where is the “rupt” that gets “dis”ed? I want to live fully combobulated, but disruption is all around. We’re feeling it more acutely these days.
But don’t despair. Our Hope is found in the fact that God is present in the disruption. Problems are not a temporary glitch that get us off track for a moment. They are life in this fallen world, in which Hope is present and available as a Person. Hope takes on flesh in the middle of the mess. Hope is strong in our weakness.
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
Bob Jacobs is Pastor at Westminster Church, Rapid City. He shares a deep commitment to see our community thrive in love for one another, especially in trying times like these. If you're interested in more of Bob's writings, check out his personal blog at www.brittlecrazyglass.wordpress.com.