Thoughts on life from Pat Oaks
We are staying at our "Indiana home" this weekend. There is a verse in the Bible where the Lord says those who follow Him will receive a hundred times in this life of houses, lands, brothers, sisters, etc.
We have found that to be true. Our friend Joyce and her husband Duane, opened their Gathering Place to us many years ago. It's a big huge metal building that sits in the middle of a beautiful Indiana field that seem to stretch forever. Many times we have arrived at their place, road weary. When we walk inside though, all that weariness just seems to melt away. We have other places across the country that we also call home, and we certainly have many other brothers and sisters besides the ones in our immediate family.
How rich a person is who looks to the Lord to supply his or her every need! I wonder sometimes why I ever worry about anything? It is rare anymore for me to worry, but occasionally it sneaks in. Today while writing this, I read the rest of that scripture in Mark 10: 29 and 30. I started to worry! The end of verse 30 says, (when talking about a person receiving a hundred times more in this life,) "and with them, persecutions!" Well now, Lord. I don't know about the last part of that verse!
Following that though, the Bible goes on to say...."and in the age to come, eternal life!" Now that's worth waiting for!
I cannot know what the future holds, but I can know the one who holds the future, so I trust in Him to work it all out for my good. (Romans 8:28) He will do it for you too.
The story of the lame man at the pool of Bethesda in John 5 has weighed heavy on my heart lately. The Lord asked him a very strange question...."Do you want to be made well?" I can hear someone say, "well, DUH! He has been lying there for over 30 years....why wouldn't he want to be made well?"
That's a question I want to ask a lot of people. I want to ask myself. I see so many people with so many seemingly unfixable problems today. In my mind I start making a list of what would be good for them to do to fix those problems. Then, all of a sudden, that phrase pops into my head. DO YOU WANT TO BE MADE WELL?
I am not a psychologist, but my good friend Greg down in Atlanta is. He has studied the psyche of people for years. He has his PhD in that field. I certainly do not have the degree, but I have a life degree, and he and I rarely disagree on what would or would not work to make someone "well".
Are you dealing with something today that looks as if it cannot be made better? Maybe it's an addiction. Maybe it's a relationship. Maybe it's just the demons in your own mind. The question I would ask you is, "do you want to be made well?" If your answer is yes, I can point you to the One (the only One) who can heal you.
If your answer is no, then you will just have to keep lying beside the pool for another 30 plus years.
Just a quick blog today to say that my friend Jackie's funeral was the most upbeat, happy funeral I have ever attended. There was laughter, singing, clapping and more laughter. The picture I have of her clapping on my blog was up when everyone came in and at some point, Tommy had them put it up again. It was as if she was clapping and laughing along with all the rest of us. And, when John boy started playing The Charlie Brown theme song as they rolled the casket out, the whole place erupted in laughter.
To say I will miss her is an understatement. We have gone through so many ups and downs together in this life, that it is hard for me not to email her or pick up the phone and call her. I am sure it will be that way for quite awhile.
Thank you Jackie for the joy you brought to so many people. You are sorely missed. I love you.
My last few blogs have been about my friend Jackie who died this week. She was told 6 months to a year when in reality it wasn't even a week. My Mother was told 6 months and it was just about to the day. My brother in law's father was told 2 months, and it was close again. So, sometimes the prediction isn't far off the mark. But none of us knows.
My younger son Jason Amos, called last night and said he thought he was going to die! He got some bread caught in his throat and ended up driving himself to the emergency room. We are in Gatlinburg for a retreat, and only heard about it after the fact. It kept moving from his throat to his nasal cavity. When he got to the hospital, he had his worse episode. His blood pressure shot up and they finally managed to give him something to make his esophagus relax and it went on down. Scary!
Tommy and I are getting older, so we think a lot about death and he preaches a lot about it. Whether one is old or young though, none of us knows when our numbered days will be over. With Paul I say that for me to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Phil. 1:21) Often I am afraid that I have said....for me to live is a nice house. For me to live is a better car. For me to live is a vacation to get away from it all. For me to live is the perfect job with the perfect boss and the perfect salary.
No, for me to really live, I don't need any of that. I only need Christ. And to die and go to be with Him is gain.