4-27-16 Durability

Sometimes God drives me crazy. He doesn’t listen to my advice. He doesn’t do things like I think they should be done. He lets me go through hard times. He doesn’t let me have the things I want to have. Then He turns around and blesses me. He can be hard to figure out.

The Bible helps me understand Him. Then I forget what I read when I need it. I have to go back to the Bible again. Did God give me a faulty memory so that I would do just that? Hmmm.

Maybe God allows me to go through hard times to make me more durable. Living tissue grows stronger with use, but fabric tears with more use and abuse.

One thing is for sure. He can use the durable me as an example and encouragement to others. I can look at what Job went through and be encouraged. I can’t imagine when he went through, from losing his family, wealth, etc. all in one day. Then he lost his health. I am so glad that God put the rest of the story in the Bible.

At first I didn’t understand today’s verse. As I looked at it I paraphrased it to help a bit: “We esteem or consider them fortunate that persevere. You have heard of the endurance of Job and witnessed the outcome. That the Lord took pity and blessed him with tender mercy.” Because Job made it through I can imagine how much he appreciated God and how happy he was. He didn’t quit on God, but endured with God by his side.

I understand God a little more today!

“Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” James 5:11.

© copyright 2016 Kevin T Boekhoff

4-15-16 Do You Have Insight?

As I was talking with a homeless man one day over a meal I bought him. He asked me if I had “insight.” I had never been asked that before. He seemed to be asking about spiritual insight. I only have the Bible. I don’t know why some things happen. I don’t know what God is planning. I don’t understand a lot of things. He thought I had some mystical hotline to God.

I must admit that I have wondered why God has allowed some things in my life. Parkinson’s, financial difficulty, a bad day landing on an important day, sickness, car trouble, jerky people etc. I sound like a whiner when I think of the things the prophets and preachers of old when through. I can only imagine what Christians in Muslim countries are suffering through.

When I read this verse I did find some insight. The prophets of old suffered as an example for me. I wonder if they wondered why at the time.

The word “patience” means longsuffering and fortitude. The idea is since they handled it with the Lord’s help, I can, too. Does this count for red traffic lights? I don’t suppose that would be considered suffering for Jesus.

I do not have great insight, but I do have the prophets of old to inspire me.

“Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.” James 5:10.

© copyright 2016 Kevin T Boekhoff

4-20-16 My Grudge

I adopted a grudge once. It seemed harmless, like adopting a pet. It was so cute and cuddly to start with – about the size of a small irk. It was easy to care for and didn’t require much attention. I fed it whenever it wanted, I even gave it treats now and then. I carried it with me wherever I went, to the store, to the park, even to church. It grew and became quite a handsome grudge.

After a while, it demanded more of my time and attention. It used to fit on my lap, but now just stomped all over me. It became more of a job to carry it around. In fact, it became a burden. Its demands took over my thought life. I tried coddling it more. I spent more and more time grooming it. But instead of becoming a more pleasant companion, it turned into a monster.

I was not happy. My whole life revolved around my grudge. My attitude changed. People noticed I was grumpy. I finally realized I had to get rid of my grudge. I took it to church with me one last time. I sought God’s forgiveness and let the grudge go.

I don’t know what happened to my grudge. It just disappeared. If you see it, don’t go near it. Whatever you do, don’t hold it. Just let the grudge go before it takes over your life.

“Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.” James 5:9.

© copyright 2016 Kevin T Boekhoff

Use the "Off" Button

The news is full of things I cannot control. The best I can do is use the “off” button.

I used to work with a woman that would get so upset with the news that she had to see a shrink of some kind. Her health was suffering because of it. She had a difficult time with me because I held the direct opposite opinion on almost everything. At times I wished I could turn her off, like I could the TV.

I find that social media does not help me deal with politics, morality or my faith. I find myself getting upset at the craziness of this world. It seems to me that common sense has been tossed out the window and has become road kill. Cruel people hurt and kill other people. Sexual deviants want special rights. Christians are having to deal with persecution and intolerance. Natural disasters are reported every day. Predictions of horrible political fallout from every perspective fill the airwaves.

I have two things that encourage me. One I can turn off the device filling my mind with this stuff and go outside enjoy the sunshine, listen to the birds and relax. The other is knowing that Jesus is coming back and will set things right. Meanwhile, like the gardener preparing for a crop, I can care for things in my life until Jesus comes. The gardener’s main concern is tending to his garden, my main concern is my relationship with Jesus.

So, I have not been focusing on the stressors of life, but on Jesus. I just need to keep that focus and occupy until He comes.

“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” James 5:7-8.

© copyright 2016 Kevin T Boekhoff