"In this weather?" 5-5-21 Musing
The story is told of a doctor who lived in a small town far away from a hospital with an emergency room and far away from any ambulance services. As such, he was one of the few remaining doctors who was still called by his patients to provide medical care in their homes. Late one cold night as a howling wind and a chilling rain was beating down, the telephone rang in the doctor’s home. The caller said that his pregnant wife needed urgent medical attention. That his mother in law was there and told him to call. The doctor was understanding, “I’ll be glad to come, but my car is being repaired,” he said. “Could you come and get me?” The caller seemed annoyed and in an angry voice sputtered, “What, in this weather?”
We chuckle but I wonder how often we to have been there – especially in our encounter and requests with God. We often ask God this or that and then when we get the answer we complain because it calls on us to do something—maybe even a bit of work or leaning into discomfort. Of course, maybe all God is asking is that we come to God and lay our concerns and burdens at the creator’s feet.
Often I pray for an answer or solution and then am frustrated when I get an answer. Because the answer is something I don’t like hearing.
“God I want to feel more rested and energetic,” I pray. And I am answered with articles and news reports about drinking less caffeine, going to bed earlier, using my sleep apnea device, and reflecting not on tomorrow’s to-do list but giving thanks on the day’s blessings as I go to sleep. But I like diet coke and late night TV and I need to get ready to face the next day.
Alas, I know the answer; I just do like it.
“Lord, I want to be in better shape.” “Then take time to exercise,” I hear back as a response.
“Lord, I want more quality in my relationships.” “Then learn to say no to the unimportant so you have time for the important,” thus says the Lord.
“Lord, I want to lose weight.” “Then eat healthy and avoid all that fried okra – you know it can be boiled and grilled, don’t you Clay?”
“Lord, I want less stress.” “Then turn it over to me and take my yoke instead.”
As I thought of this story and my frequent reaction of choosing to ignore answers to my prayers, three scripture passages came to mind that I wanted to share with you. I think these passages will help us see that these problems of not responding to what is in front of us existed even when Jesus walked the planet.
May all with ears hear, and in our hearing, may we be changed so that our lives might help share the good news that the Kingdom of God is at hand.
Then someone came to him and said, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother; also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “I have kept all these; what do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, “Then who can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.