04 June 2014

When Jesus Turns Away

Today in the garden the parsley blooms, ready to make new seeds for a new generation.  Yes, they're heirlooms, so I plan to harvest the seeds right from the plant when they're dry.

The okras and watermelons bloom again, too, on the verge of abundant fruits.  The traumatized tomato plants continue their rejuvenation, putting out a new fruit here, a pretty green leaf there, constantly amazing me with their resilience.  

Those rosemary plants, of which I planted far too many because I was afraid they wouldn't sprout and then they all did, look more like their name every day.  The watermelons keep adding pounds to the fruits we've been dreaming about, and a few more Cayennes and Serranos blush ripe red. 

Energy builds as each plant grows, closer to fruiting today than yesterday, bigger every moment.  No water droplet gets wasted.  Even the fig tree next door knows the season, and puts out fresh green fruits.

It's not even my tree, yet I can all too easily imagine how utterly disappointed I would be if, by the end of the season, I had tended and cared for it, and the fig tree hadn't done its job.  But if I had created the tree to make figs, and then it didn't?  That would be a let down I can't even fathom.  (see Matthew 21:19)

The thought gives me pause to think about how often Jesus must have been disappointed, heartbroken, while He walked the earth, knowing how beautifully He made it in the beginning but seeing myriads of ways things just aren't as glorious as He wanted them to be now that sin's curse of thorns mars the planet.

When He should have been walking through His earth-garden seeing the plants and people just about to bear fruits, He met instead stunted plants and trees and people destitute of fruit and glorious purpose.

There's a little four-verse story in Mark that I've never paid much attention to.  Right after feeding the four thousand, Jesus and His disciples get in a boat and land on the other side of the lake.  He's immediately accosted by the Pharisees asking for a sign, trying to trap Him in His words.

If you ever feel like you just can't get away from people attacking you, well, you're not the first one.

Anyway, they ask Jesus for a sign to prove who He really is, and He doesn't comply.  As if all the miracles weren't enough, or the way He teaches with an inherent heavenly authority.  It's here that I generally skip on to the next story thinking how much better I am than the Pharisees because I call Jesus my Messiah.

You know what captured my attention this time?

At the end of this conversation, which in Mark chapter 8 seems to be the only thing that happens when He lands on that part of the shore, He turns around, gets back in the boat, and leaves.

I want to shout, WAIT!  Stop!  Come back!

Jesus didn't waste time and boat trips.  What did He go there to do?  What energy was building up in Him to bless the people of the shore town?  

Certainly He didn't go all that way just to breathe a deep sigh in exasperation and sadness at their unbelief, and leave again, yet something kept Him from staying.

Was that moment a thousand times more grievous to Him than finding a fig tree that wouldn't make figs?  Are there times when I too make Jesus sigh a deep sigh in grief, and then leave, because I'm so focused earth-ward that He can't transform my life the way He's like to?

It's a sobering thought, yet it's a thought I need to think and pray about seriously, because I want the energy in my life to build and build and build until I'm bearing fruits for Jesus and playing the part He has for me in this great war against evil.

1 comment:

  1. It really is a sobering thought. Sometimes I get distracted and end up being focused earth-ward as well- And am reminded to turn my focus back onto God. God bless- Hope you are having a great Sabbath. Lisa :O)


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