Paul Young pens the thought, “There is something joyful about storms that interrupt routine.” Now, at the place I am in life within the intersection of ending one chapter to start a new, I find that the storms come identifying themselves as deadlines. The many challenges of found while being a full-time grad student keeping up with what is taught both in and a classroom and outside of it, the obstacles that come with trying to maintain a healthy and balanced life still keeping your focus on a destination and the temptation not to grow lax in everything I have put my hands on. I don’t know about you, but it seems like every time I am on the brink of finishing one thing and starting another that is when everything and everyone around wants to beat against my boat. Computers want to crash, co-workers want to fight, relationships at home and outside of the home everything…just everything wants to come and contend with my sanity. I think it would be easy to talk about the storm and how I got over only to turn around and face another storm. We can talk about speaking to the winds and the waves and commanding the storm to cease as Jesus did but let us sit in the eye of the storm for a moment. Let us journey together and see what God is saying in the midst of the wind, in the midst of what seems to be chaotic.
The storms of life come but with Young, he emphasizes the joyful nature of a storm that interrupts the flow of your life. It is almost funny to hear someone describe a storm as being joyful but there is a joy that comes with interruptions. There is a joy that comes with a rest stop; there is a joy that comes with a yield or detour. Though it might be wrapped in uncertainty, confusion and anxiety there is a purpose within disruptions. So with that, let us have a conversation about Divine disruptions.
Interruption is to stop or hinder by breaking in, to break the uniformity or continuity of something while a disruption is the disturbance or problems that interrupt an event, activity, or process. What does it look like when God steps in and disrupts the course of our lives and shifts us from where we desired to go and to where God wants to go? I am reminded of my coming to Drew University. As one who did not think seminary was necessary only because the ones I knew came out yes with more knowledge but lacked Spirit. I told the Lord, nope…not me, not I, never, not ever. You have to be kidding, to go back to school knowing that I have learning challenges that can be a hindrance, knowing that reading takes up a little more time than I would like because of dyslexia. Knowing that they are bills to pay and one of them cannot be Sallie Mae in this season of my life. Seminary??? NO BUENO! Oh, but in true God fashion, I remember sitting in a service on a Sunday night in April and hearing the Holy Spirit say clearly, “Apply to Drew.” Not knowing that Drew had a theological school at the time, all I remember hearing was apply to Drew. The drive home was an argument, that night was an argument…all one-sided because there were no responses to the questions asked.
At this time, I am in the storm of my life (one of many) but nevertheless a time where the clouds are thickening and the bellows of distant thunder while the winds of my own will and insecurities are headed my way. A disruption is occurring; the breaking of the uniformity and comfortability of my life that is requiring me to move into another direction. That direction is out of the norm of my family, out of the norm of my worship space, out of the norm of my community. I was brought up to believe that everything you need concerning the Word of God would be found in bible study…but there was a hunger that was not satisfied at the table of bible study and Sunday morning worship. Breaking into the secret places of my own heart where all of the negatives and insecurities were stored.
The text reads in Exodus 3:
2 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
4 And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
The disruption comes in and teaches us the importance of what it is to know your place and know your time. Picture Moses after leaving Egypt and getting to a place where he was comfortable, now being summoned up to receive instruction to go back into the very storm he came out of. The place of rejection, the place of murder and deceit, the place of false identity yet still the place where your family, your heritage, your identity remains captive and under the oppressive rule of the pharaoh. We all have come and continue to come to a defining moment, moments I would like to call God moments; moments where the Word meets the word, moments where the one is drawn out of the waters of familiarity and placed in a place that is uncomfortable. All of us have had this drawing out experience, this light bulb moment, this place of eureka, this place of revelation. This Holy Conversation where Spirit speaks to spirit, and God to God. This burning bush experience, this disruption that is divinely orchestrated, is it actually a bush that is burning or is it a burning passion with the spirit of a being. A calling, a charge to seek what is on the inside, what grows out of your context to come into a place of knowing what is around you. The bush brings us to respond, “Here am I”. If were to be completely honest, our response is “No, not again, I don’t need this right now!” way before we say, “Here am I”. It commands us, to be honest, and to be critical about ourselves before they are critical about you. It drives us to reclaim our identity and brings us back to the place of revelation, the revelation that we are the answer to the questions around us. The storm, the turmoil, the discontent in life did nothing but detour us, interrupted us to bring us to a place where we can ask or ask again the question “What are you hungry for?” “What are your thirsty for?” Sometimes the things we are hungry and thirsty for are things we wrestle with.
So indeed, there is something joyful within the storm that interrupts routine. Not so much focusing on the external storm but what is going on internally. I’ve come to encourage you today not to be focused on the storm, but to allow the winds of the storm to propel you into purpose. Allow the winds to interrupt the structures of your mind and bring you into a new place of thinking, a renewed place of knowing. Allow the winds of the spirit of God to blow on the dead bones of your home, of your relationships, of your church, of your community. Allow the breath of God to blow and rekindle the embers of your dream, your vision, and passion. This disruption has only come to break the conformity of your routine and push and push you again into the place of your passion. Your passion might bring you to a place of rejection by your family, it might bring you into a place of hurt resulting in a limp, it may bring you to a place where your head is on a platter, your family throws you into a pit, puts you before lions, puts you in a furnace, leaves you pregnant and places you on a cross. Though the disruptions cause uncertainty, know that bring you into purpose. This disruption is beckoning you to claim who you are. Understand the fire burning inside. Let it guide, let it instruct and let it keep you.
“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Luke 10:19
Reginald Charlestin serves as a minister at Truth Ministries International in Newark, NJ under the leadership of Pastor Tawana Thompson. From his humble beginnings in church at the tender age of 7, the hand of God has rested heavily upon Minister Reggie’s life. He has served as an active member of the Love of Jesus Family Church of Orange in various facets under the leadership of Pastor Jason Alvarez since the age of 14; and in that time to present, God has changed his status and truly transformed his life.
A student at Drew University working on his M.Div, Minister Reginald preaches the word in power and ministers in song throughout the United States and has been graced to travel the world spreading the Gospel of our Lord, Jesus Christ. With a passion for young people, it is his belief that now is the appointed time for today’s youth to take their place in the body of Christ, and become transformed so that they can transform the world around them. On top of his involvement in community work and chaplaincy, his other passion for praise and worship is contagious as he often encourages others to keep a heart-felt praise on their lips and pure worship in their hearts. Minister Reggie is not afraid to speak what God has placed in his heart, and he is willing to go wherever the Spirit leads him.
Minister Reggie is a loyal son and a dedicated brother. Three words describe this man and his ministry, “authentic, transformative, and powerful!”
 Young, William P., Wayne Jacobsen, and Brad Cummings. The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity. Newbury Park, CA: Windblown Media, 2007. Print.