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Archive for Ken Parker

Dec
16

Perspective

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One of my best friends in ministry is Dr. Ken Parker, who serves as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Kearney, Missouri. Ken recently submitted this article for his local newspaper, The Kearney Courier. I enjoyed it and hope you will as well!

Years ago I experienced a change in perspective at Christmas. Like most young couples with a very young family, we were keeping track of what we needed to purchase for Christmas. We had just moved to a new city and I was having a bad case of the “I wish we had never moved” syndrome. I wasn’t in the Christmas spirit at all. My new work wasn’t going well. Promises were made that hadn’t been kept. Frankly, some people lied to me. I was missing home. I had a short fuse. I was in no mood to do the “Christmas thing.” But that changed when I received a big dose of reality. One of our sons was diagnosed with a childhood illness that left him in constant pain and unable to walk. It was grueling as a young dad to watch my normally energy-filled, mischievous child literally scoot across the floor on his knees. When my in-laws came to visit, our little boy bounded around the corner (on his knees) and with a big grin said, “Look Grandpa at what I can do!” He was elated he was moving so well on his knees. And I cried. When we went to the mall, as the other kids were walking around, I pushed my son in a wheelchair. I was mad at the world, mad at myself, and struggling in my walk with God.

I remember one poignant moment in particular. As I had been unloading my feelings on God about how unfair I thought life was (as well as questioning His wisdom in this matter), I was telling God how much I loved my son. I told Him how angry I was that this disease was ravaging his little body. I was scared to death because we didn’t know the disease’s outcome with certainty. I was in tears one night as I shared with God my inmost hurt and I said something like, “How can anyone understand what it’s like to watch my son go through this?” I didn’t hear a voice, but God’s reply reached deep in my heart and I sensed Him saying, “Trust Me. I understand what it’s like to watch a Son endure a lot of pain.”

I sat in front of the Christmas tree, on the floor with my little boy (still unable to walk) leaning on my shoulder. With tears streaming down my face, I gazed at the fire in the fireplace and the Christmas tree, and then back to the face of my small son. He was sleeping like an angel on his dad’s shoulder. I wondered how God must have felt watching His Son, Jesus, come into the world on that night so long ago. How He must have hurt knowing that Jesus’ love and death on the Cross would be rejected by so many in our world. I realized anew that God understood what it’s like to watch someone you love endure a lot of pain. I’m sure now God was concerned not only with my son, but also with me.

Nine Christmases have come and gone since that Christmas season. I’m more concerned these days with how much time I’m spending with people than how much money I’m spending on them. And while I still don’t understand why God allows some things to happen, I am more certain of His love. As for my little boy and the illness . . . let’s just say we’ve got some Christmas shopping to do and yes, he’ll be walking through the mall. And yes, his dad is very grateful. Merry Christmas.

Categories : Advent, Christmas, Ken Parker
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