4/24/14 Life in the Parkie Lane

It Is Enough                                                                                         

It is enough, Lord just take me home to heaven.  Everything hurts, I have no friends, family has abandoned me, nobody goes to my blog, nobody cares about me, I could die and nobody would even notice. Lord I have done what you wanted me to do and now look - failure.  Oh, there were a few moments, but now, pphhhtt. It is enough, kill me and just end this misery.

Depression can set in without making any sense or it may be the result of a terrible event.  I know I can feel completely contrary to the circumstances in my life - sometimes because of my Parkinson's messing with me.  In this passage, Elijah had just come through a great victory regarding the prophets of Baal.  Now he is hiding out in a cave, exhausted and depressed. He felt alone and in fear of Jezebel.

Many of us get angry with someone when they are down rather than help them.  What should we do?  God sent an angel to get Elijah to get out of bed and eat something. Then he encouraged Elijah to listen for God's voice in the unexpected quiet of a still, small voice. Eventually, Elijah recuperated enough to hear God's voice tell him to get busy again.  The Bible doesn't say how long this took.  It might have been a day or maybe weeks.  Maybe we can be a help to someone who is down with little nudges of encouragement.

"But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers." 1Kings 19:4.

"And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria:" 1Ki 19:14-15.

© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff

4/23/14 Life in the Parkie Lane

That's Not What I Expected                                                              

Being a reasonably mechanically-minded individual, most minor maintenance issues don't intimidate me. Years ago, when the toilet was running on, I knew the flap in the tank had come off the little chain again.

Therefore, knowing what to expect, I turned the water off, straddled the tank, removed the tank lid with my face strategically placed to peer into the problem area.  Instead of seeing an empty tank with a flap problem, my vision blurred as a stream of cold water shot up into my eyes. I jerked my head up and back, but that only provided a way for the water to go up my nostrils.  I couldn't see, I couldn't breathe.  What to do, what to do…think, think, think.  Then, clarity struck. I put the lid back down. I reached for a towel and said, "Wow, that's not what I expected."

The nobleman in this verse had a preconceived idea on how things would go.  He expected Jesus to make a bit of fanfare because of his nobility.  However, Jesus saw through that.  He told the nobleman that his son was healed and to go home.  Answered prayer, but no fanfare.  Not exactly what the nobleman expected. 

Too often, I have things all planned out for God, but He does them differently.  He answers my prayers, but oftentimes not in the way I expected.

When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. John 4:47-50

© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff

4/22/14 Life in the Parkie Lane

Curses Foibled Again                                                           

Basically, Jesus was saying in today's passage that the people in Galilee would be receptive, but the people where He grew up would not. They remembered His humble upbringing and His occupation as carpenter. Despite a fine reputation, they would not listen to someone they considered inadequately educated spiritually.

I hate having faults, shortcomings, quirks, eccentricities - foibles.  They cause me trouble all the time. I like to think I don't have foibles, but that in itself is a foible. I am foibled at every turn.  They hurt my reputation and credibility. I can say things wrong, I can do things that are misinterpreted, I can get cranky, etc.

I like to think that if I was perfect - absolutely foibleless - that all in my world would be perfect. However, Jesus was perfect. He had no faults and foibles, yet all was not perfect for Him.  Since all people are sinful, judgmental, opinionated and difficult, they are filled with faults. Jesus was rejected and crucified by foible-filled people.

Thus, I know that Jesus understands about being foibled. He knows me and all my shortcomings.  He loves me anyway. Sometimes I can avoid the foibles of others, but I can't avoid mine.  I need Jesus to help at these times so that I won't be foibled again.

Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast. John 4:43-45 (See also Matthew 13:54-58).

© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff

4/21/14 Life in the Parkie Lane

Will You Look at That!                                                                     

My parents had a large garden.  Every spring we would till the garden and plant rows of vegetables.  Through the summer we would weed and water, watch and wait until eventually Dad declared things ready to harvest. It seemed the different vegetables would mature pretty much at the same time.  We would fill the garden cart with carrots, clean them, cut off the tops and Mom would toil in the hot kitchen canning them. We also processed the beans, peas, and corn. Meanwhile, the tomatoes and zucchini would be taking over the place, we could not keep up until the frost killed the plants. Harvest was the reward of the summer's work.

Jesus asked the disciples to look around at the harvest. They did not recognize the Samaritans that had come to Jesus as a harvest.  The Samaritans wanted to hear Him.  Many believed in Him as the Messiah - God in the flesh. 

Even as a kid, before I knew Jesus as my Savior, I had never had a problem with the idea that Christians tell others about Jesus. I had always thought that is what they are supposed to do. Jesus said to look up. When I look up, I see people of all walks of life, and nationalities to talk with, my responsibility is to recognize those as the harvest. Those that dress strangely may want to hear about Jesus.  There is nothing wrong with a respectfully delivered invitation to meet Jesus.

"Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.” John 4:35-38.

© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff