When God gives me a time out it makes me stop and think about spiritual things. Have you ever been given a timeout from the Lord where He used a circumstance in your life to really wake you up? If so, how did that change your life?
During my brief life I have experienced several time outs from God that really made me stop and think about my life and my relationship with the Lord. When I was 22, a co-worker was killed in an accident. It really made me think about the importance of sharing the Good News of Jesus with others. I had opportunities to share, but I did not.
Not long after that I was laid off from my job and had several months to think about what I was doing with my life. God used that time to draw me back into a closer relationship with Him.
When I was 34, a co-worker suddenly died of a heart attack. Again, God used this as a time out to think about the fruitfulness of my life. What was I doing with the gifts God had given me? All these timeouts were significant as the Lord used them to change the direction of my life.
Saul Was Given a Time Out
Saul, who we know as Paul in the Bible, knew about Jesus but did not think He was the Messiah. He was so deceived he thought he was helping God by persecuting the followers of Jesus. That all changed one day when Saul was on the road to Damascus.
Acts 9:3 As Saul (Paul) was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” 5 “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! 6 Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7 The men with Saul stood speechless, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice but saw no one! 8 Saul picked himself up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes he was blind. So his companions led him by the hand to Damascus. 9 He remained there blind for three days and did not eat or drink. 
Saul had three days to think about what happened. He began to realize Jesus was God himself and he was working against God, not for Him, as he thought. Saul prayed during this time and God answered his prayer. Ananias was sent to pray over him and restore his eyesight. Saul’s entire direction in life would change because of God’s intervention.
God Gives Time Outs Because of His Mercy and Grace
When God gives me a time out in the spiritual sense, it is because He wants to communicate something incredibly significant. Sometimes it takes a tragedy or a hardship like the current pestilence for us to begin to see the changes the Lord wants us to make in our lives.
He may do this so we see the value of relationships. Perhaps the Lord is leading you to spend more time with Him so you can comfort others with the encouragement you have received. Take time and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what He is trying to teach you in this season. When you do, you will not be disappointed.
To hear more about spiritual time outs, listen here: