Monday, March 11, 2013

Imagine No Malaria-Lenten Devotion Day 27: March 11

Monday, March 11, 2013: Patience 

Numbers 21:4 “They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way;” 

A little boy found his grandpa working on a gate and asked, “Whatcha doin’?” Grandpa replied, “There’s five kinds of broken things. Some are broke so bad they can’t be fixed. Some are broke, but, if you leave ‘em alone, they’ll fix themselves. Some are broke so bad only God can fix ‘em. Some are broke, and somebody else has to fix ‘em. Some are broke, and it’s up to me to fix ‘em. I’m fixing something I gotta fix.” 

It doesn’t take a genius or a prophet who can see directly into the mind of God to know that things are broken. Consider any aspect of life that is of concern to you. Things just aren’t the way they ought to be. Most of us get impatient about things that need to be fixed. 

We try to do the best we can with our tasks. We try always to witness to the ‘wonderful love of our blessed Redeemer.’ We try to fix the things that are our responsibility. We scurry after ways to fix the problems that plague our world. Often we spend so much time and energy putting out little fires that we don’t have anything left for the important things. For a while everything may be calm, as at the beginning of “The Wizard of Oz” before Miss Gulch or the tornado arrives and the biggest concern is how to take care of the chicks after the incubator breaks down. In the midst of the tranquility, we hear a roaring like a freight train, and the whole world falls apart. 

There’s another option. With God, there’s always another option, another possibility for bringing good from seemingly hopeless and thoroughly evil situations. When Christ came into the world, the true light shone forth. So long as God lives, the light of Christ can never be put out. 

People in the midst of wars, plagues, earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes, or something so common as a terminal disease must surely feel it’s way past time for things to be fixed. But God’s will is always directed toward the most excellent way, the way that we have come to know in Jesus Christ, the way of love. Evil may interrupt the smooth flow of our lives, but God continues to work on those things only God can fix. We may get impatient when our favorite problem isn’t fixed before we ask, but the love of Christ has come into the world and even a torturer’s cross will not overcome it. 

Prayer: Holy One in whom we live and move and have our being, help us to deal calmly with those things which are up to us to fix. In the midst of frenzied impatience, help us to know your peace. Amen. 

Rev. Dr. Lew Kaye-Skinner, Adjunct Faculty Bryan LGH College of Health Sciences Hallam and Martell United Methodist Churches, Nebraska Conference 

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