Monday, June 30, 2008

Special Delivery

Recently, I experienced an event that was most unusual and definitely most amusing. Earlier in my posts I stated that I am recovering from surgery and have been quite disabled although it is only temporary. As I was resting the other day, I had a strange encounter with my new neighbor. He knocked at my front door, unaware of my current medical condition. Slowly, like an injured tortoise, I managed to make my way to the door dragging my walker and hobbling on one foot. My lovely little doggies defending me every step of the way, barking to announce my arrival to my neighbor.

As I opened the door, I noticed my neighbor was a bit perplexed with a situation that he attempted to explain in broken English, as he is German with a rather thick accent. "Oh excuse I did not mean to disturb," my neighbor said as he greeted me. Apparently he did not notice my physical appearance, I, looking as if my hair and clothes had been caught in a tornado. Physical upkeep is something currently of a challenge for me. I introduced myself as we had not formally met, hoping that he could not smell my sweaty persona through the screen door. "I feel so stupid", my neighbor stated, "You see, I was out here working in my yard and, oh! do you have ladder"? "Ladder? "How in the world did he expect me to get a ladder for him when walking for me is almost impossible. "Why on earth would he need a ladder?" I thought to myself. He then went on to explain that he could see it on my roof. "See it?" I said, "What is it that you see?" By this time I was becoming concerned about this prospect of something sitting on the overhang of my front porch. My neighbor went on to ask me "Do you have chair?" I could stand on chair and reach, perhaps." Now, I was beginning to get nervous. Visions of my neighbor standing on a chair and falling and breaking his neck came to mind. "Oh I don't think that is such a good idea", I replied "You could fall and get hurt". In my head I was thinking sure then you might sue me and I could lose my home and be living in a cardboard box. My imagination tends to run away with me at times.

My neighbor then held up his left foot, clad in only a gray holey sock. Now, I was totally confused, because I still did not understand what he needed or what he was trying to explain to me. He then explained he was out raking his yard and kicked a rock. I tried to picture my neighbor of slight build, outside, sending a rock sailing so hard that he lost his shoe, only to land it special delivery to my porch roof. I had a rather difficult time keeping a straight face as I slowly deciphered what my neighbor was explaining to me. "Hmmm" I thought "He must have a pretty bad temper, I mean if he could do that to a shoe, I can only imagine what else he could send sailing through the air, if properly provoked." Finally I suggested that my neighbor try using the rake he had in his right hand as he kept repeating that he could see the shoe, hanging precariously on the overhang of my front porch.
His face turned a deep red and then after a few swift sweeps with the rake, the shoe triumphantly appeared. After a few more brief words and introductions, we parted with an invitation to have a neighborly cookout to get to know people in the neighborhood this summer.

As I closed the door, the Lord impressed something on my heart about the whole situation. Life is like that shoe on the roof, one minute everything is progressing at a pleasing pace, and the next thing we know, we might become sick, lose a job, becomes injured, or receive unexpected and unwelcome news. How do we handle those moments? We try to fix the situation or deal with it on our own, without realizing Jesus is the perfect manager for all of our problems. We try to get a chair then a ladder and when we have run out of ideas, and we are stranded on the roof of our problems, we finally succumb to defeat or retreat to the Lord for help. The bible says in 1 Thessalonians 3:3 " so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. You know quite well that we were destined for them." Yes, we are destined for trials in this life, but Jesus told us "I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace." "In this world you will have trouble." "But take heart!" "I have overcome the world!" John 16:33. The decision is up to us to either soak in our troubles, and let them weigh us down, defeated, or to bask in the peace that Christ offers. Difficult times are for a season in our lives, an opportunity for us to stand back and see just who is this mighty God we serve. Deuteronomy 7:19 highlights this picture of our God ,"You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the miraculous signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm with which the Lord your God brought you out." During the hardships of our lives it is important to remember this promise. With Christ handling the "special deliveries" that life has in store for us, we can be assured that he will help us to come out of them victorious.

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