What Can Stop God?

"And stopping, Jesus called them and said, "What do you want me to do for you?" - Mat 20:32 ESV.

The title is a bit intriguing, don't you think? Some may be tempted to give a quick answer to it and say, "Nothing." Let's see whether we can make a definitive statement to address this intriguing question.

Imagine that you are riding your motorcycle and you are not really in a big hurry. As you cruise along something bluish caught your eye. The color is very familiar, although you can be wrong because it was folded. But something tells you quite strongly that the folded paper that you saw was a thousand pesos. However, you already passed it. Will you turn and check if it really was a thousand? How about if the color is more of yellow for five hundred? Will you turn and check? How about if it looked like a hundred? How about if it was a coin?

My point is, it will get to a point where you can be sure that it was money but you will no longer bother to stop for it. It's just not worth your time.

According to Bloomberg Magazine, the highest paid executive on earth in 2020 is Elon Musk of Tesla with $6,658,803,818. Next to him is Mike Pykosz of Oak Street Health who earned $568,442,024. You know how much is Elon worth every second? It's $211. That's more than PHP10K. Now imagine him being the one riding that motorcycle earlier. How much of his time will be "wasted" if he makes a U-turn and then stops to pick up that one thousand bill, if it was actually that? For the sake of argument it's 30 seconds. Theoretically, he would have "lost" $6,334 or PHP304K. Even if he was simply walking by and the time it takes to stoop down and pick that bill up would only take a couple of seconds, it will still be theoretically not worth his time. So now can you imagine why people like this don't have time for ordinary people? They don't have time to spend chatting with someone at the coffee shop unless chatting with that person has some kind of business value. Elon's time is so important to be interrupted. So is the time of all the CEOs in that Bloomberg list.

But not to be judgmental about these people whom we can't know personally, I suspect there are those who can interrupt them at any time even if they aren't bringing any new money to their pockets. I'm sure they would allow their mother's call to interrupt them or stop them. I'm quite sure that even if they're too busy and they see their little child about to fall from a chair or is running a fever, they would interrupt whatever it is that they're doing to attend to their loved ones first. They would, if their primary motivation is love or compassion. They would even stop for a beggar or a homeless man if they have compassion enough.

Sometimes when people have gotten too important and their time is of high value, they would find it difficult to stop for that which isn't making optimal use of their time. What is optimal however is dependent on what the person values most. For someone whose motivation is money, the only thing worth stopping for is a profitable thing. If the motivation is fame, the only thing worth stopping for is with publicity value. If it is compassion, everyone and everything that requires help or assistance is worth stopping for. Let's look at the things that stopped Jesus, the Son of God.

Jesus said that He was always doing the will of the Father. And it was the will of the Father that He dies in Jerusalem. A trip to Jerusalem then was a very important trip of the highest priority. One day while Jesus and his twelve disciples were leaving Jericho to go to Jerusalem, He heard in the midst of the big crowd that followed Him a shout: "Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!" (Mat 20:30).The shout came from two blind men and the shout was repeated twice. After the first one, the crowd rebuked the two, telling them to be silent. But Jesus also heard and He stopped. This man whose time is so important, whose mission to go to Jerusalem to fulfill the plan of the Father is top priority, allowed himself to be interrupted by persons whom the common crowd didn't even think worthy of their time, much less the time of the Lord.

Unlike the highly-paid CEOs of this world, Jesus' motivation isn't money, nor fame, nor honor but love and compassion. A prayer stops Him even from whatever important task He is doing and He takes time to minister to the least among us in our need. 

The regular bible readers among us may recall that this isn't the only time that Jesus, despite His busy schedule, allows himself to be interrupted. In Luke 8:43-48 He also stopped when that woman who had been suffering from hemorrhage for twelve years touched the helm of his robe, believing that it would finally heal her after all the other physicians failed. She didn't have to say a word like the blind men did. She simply believed. Jesus not only stops for a prayer. He also stops for silent faith. 

And another instance where Jesus allowed Himself to be interrupted was when mothers of young children came to him with their small ones. Again, there was a big contrast on the reactions of ordinary people and the Lord. The disciples rebuked the mothers but Jesus stopped and invited the children to Himself to bless them. Jesus also stops if the request of blessing is not for self but for someone else. The mothers weren't there for themselves but for their children.

My friend, don't think that since the Lord had to to listen to billions of voices crying for help and deliverance every second, that He wouldn't have time to spare for you. That since Jesus has more important things to do, interceding for those who are dying or about to be killed, that he wouldn't have time for your simple heartache or pain. Don't think that since you are just a baby Christian and not able to pray like that old Christian who can rattle and prattle for many minutes in prayer that Jesus won't notice your silent cries. He would because His motivation is love and compassion. Are you in need? Are you in pain? Are you drowning in sorrow? Are you confused? Do you worry too much? Your need will always stop Jesus because He has love and compassion for you.

Perhaps you need to start calling on Him, like those blind men. Perhaps in your grief you can mention His name. Maybe you are willing to raise your hand to signal your need for help, to reach out to Him so that He can also reach out to touch you. Some people may not feel nor see that God stops for them. But most likely, it's because they themselves don't bother to stop for God, to pray, to have faith, to worship, to give, to fast. I'm afraid if we don't stop for Jesus, He won't also stop for us. Will you stop for Him today?

Allow me to be foolish by using myself as an example. About a month ago, I had this sudden conviction from the Lord that I wasn't praying enough and thinking about God enough. I was too busy. My time was too precious because I was already engaged in so many things. But I felt that I needed to change all that. I have to have interruptions, the good kind of interruptions, where I can just say something to the Lord, say Hi to Him, thank Him, remember Him even just for a moment. So I installed an app on my phone. You know what that app does? It speaks time every hour. And that signals me to stop whatever I was doing and say Hi to God. It didn't have to be a prayer time. Sometimes I simply say to the Lord, "Thank you Lord for the interruption. I remember you." It made a lot of difference in my day. And I believe because every time I have these interruptions, Jesus also allows Himself to be interrupted for me. My stopping for God also stops God.

(Photo credit: ©istockphoto.com/lilkar)