May 11, 2014
Obedience. Most of us probably cringe just a tiny bit when we hear/read/think that word. We think of all the negative connotations it has, all the times we had to obey without wanting to. But obedience has been in our lives from the day we were born and will be there until the day we die, forever and ever, amen. Shouldn't we stop fighting with it, just make up and accept it for what it is? Yea, right, we aren't that smart.
This word/act/idea has been hammered into me lately, basically nonstop. It was looming in the air when I found out I was wait listed for graduate school recently. It has flowed in and out of my heart as I have had to sit patiently waiting for love. It's a constant mantra I chant to myself when I am not happy with my surroundings, knowing that I am exactly where I am supposed to be according to God's will but actually hating my surroundings wishing I could stab them with a knife. Dang, why is it so hard to adhere to, sometimes?
This week I had some beautiful one-on-one time with the girl I mentor at Harris Home, the group foster care home here in town. I'd found out she'd been skipping class some and lying to the staff about where she'd been. I picked her up from class and took her to get coffee so we could sift through these actions. I did not really know what I was going to say as I was driving to pick her up. It's obvious she is acting out for reasons that I can't even begin to understand. I have no idea what it is like to have been bounced around between my own home, various group homes, and detention centers my entire existence. I never had to witness my mother with more men in my lifetime than the number of years I've been alive. To have siblings from multiple fathers. I can't even begin to fathom that lifestyle.
But as I was driving to get her, I was praying, asking God to give me the words to speak to her and it occurred to me (read: The Spirit interceded here and planted thoughts in my head) that because her mother never really disciplined her, regulations and rules look like hatred to her. To her, because staff members are asking her to be obedient and are holding her accountable for her actions, they must not care about her at all. Because they are withholding things from her that she feels she deserves and needs, they must be out to make her life miserable. She doesn't know what discipline from a loving place looks like.
And although I am privileged enough to know a savior that has my best interest in His hands and to come from a loving family that taught me the reasoning behind obedience and to understand that God may be withholding things from me right now because it's not time yet, or because these things aren't in His will for me (big deep breath in), I still get frustrated. I still get upset. I still want to skip class and lie. Why is that? Why do we get mad when we know that The Lord's got this and His idea is WAY BETTER than anything we can even dream up? We should be rejoicing in His plan always, but instead we get caught up in our own thoughts and timelines and rebel. So even though I know better, I am no different than my sweet foster child, and I bet you aren't either. We're all rebelling against something.
So what do we do?
Prayer through these situations is key. Praying for God to open our hearts, cleanse them of our own stupid pride and to teach us to obey Him. In church today, it was said that it is impossible tojoyfully obey something that we hate. But we are called to do that. And the only way to do that is with the help of the One that knows what is best for our lives. It's such an easy concept but we always go and muck it up in our complicated human ways (I'm pointing my fingers are you Adam and Eve.)
So let's try our best to be patient and obey (note: I'm saying this more to myself than to anyone else.) God's got this. Why question the intentions of the One who created our intentions? Let's stop mucking it up.