On a daily basis I find myself reminding my girls the same things over and over – hang up your backpack, dishes go in the sink, brush your teeth, put your clothes in the hamper – a seemingly endless list. Often if would be easier to just do these tasks myself, but as their mother I know that the only way they are ever going to learn is do it themselves. Still, on one particular day I had reached my limit and was tired of my words falling on deaf ears. “I wish you would just listen and do what I ask the first time!!” It was a cry for obedience. At their age, I pretty much know what is best for them, things would run so much smoother if they just listened to my sage wisdom
When the moment passed I suddenly was struck about how obedient I was being to my own Father. How many times had his quiet urgings gone ignored? How often his encouragement dismissed? Doesn’t he always know what is best for me and wants me to carry out his perfect plan? It seemed that my kids weren’t the only ones who could afford to go to obedience school!
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. 2 John 1:6
Reflecting on the command to show our love by obeying our Father, a recent incident came to mind. After an early dinner, my husband and I took the girls to our gym to go swimming. We take the same route there several times a week without incident. On this particular night, however, as we exited the same familiar off-ramp I saw a homeless man holding a sign asking for help. As many times as we travel this way, I had never seen him here before and felt I needed to do something. But the girls were excited to go swimming and it seemed kind of a hassle to stop, so we continued the quarter mile to the gym. Upon arrival, I turned the car around and told my family that I felt God was asking me to take that man dinner. We picked up a sandwich, coffee and chips and within 10 minutes were back to deliver this stranger dinner. When we arrived, he was gone. My oldest started crying “But mom, you said God wanted you to give that man dinner and now we can’t! We didn’t do what God wanted”. It was a good lesson to learn as sometimes things don’t always turn out how you wanted – people are unappreciative, unkind or unavailable. It isn’t always the end result that reflects God’s love, sometimes it is simply obeying the call.