most of us learn at an early age to obey our parents. or that's what we should do. and as we become christians and grow in our relationship with God, we learn we should obey Him as well.
let's face it, there are times in our lives when we do this and there are times in our lives when we don't.
for me, it's so easy to obey when he's asking me to do something that comes naturally to me. it's in the out of my comfort zone issues that obedience becomes a problem.
i have a wonderful church family. every sunday you can always look across the isles and see people from all different walks of life. it's one of the things, as a partner with this church, i'm most proud of. our motto, if you will, as a church is simple. to make christ known in the lives of people far from God. that's it. simple. to the point.
this morning was like every other sunday morning sort of. i got up. grabbed my coffee and started reading my bible. usually i'll sit and watch someone like charles stanley or david jeremiah on t.v. but i've started a read your bible in ninety days plan. so that's what i was doing. i've just started this plan so i'm still in the book of genesis. and this morning i was at the story of isaac and abraham. how God had asked abraham to take his son, isaac, and place him as a burnt offering before the Lord. remember that story? abraham did as God had said even though it was such an unimaginable task. he obeyed.
after some time had passed. i got ready. kevin got the boys up and had them moving around. then kevin left to go pick up a ball player that always comes with us to church. the boys and i usually head out on our own.
it never fails when we get in the car, my youngest son always asks if i'll turn the volume on for the particular movie he is watching so he can enjoy fifteen minutes worth of entertainment before we make it to church. and every sunday it never fails. i say no. we usually just listen to music. now he might have the dvd player on but no sound is coming from it. which was exactly the case this morning.
as we got closer to where our church meets, i saw a man walking down the sidewalk pushing a grocery cart. older gentleman. jeans. t-shirt. truckers hat. and all of a sudden this feeling came over me. our motto rang out like a fire alarm in my head. but i kept driving til i made it to our church parking lot. still i could not get this man pushing a cart off my mind. did God really want me to ask him to come to church? is this what i'm suppose to be doing? picture me here and my comfort zone about a hundred miles away. get the point?
so i parked our car and sat in silence. the boys looked at me like why are you not getting out of the car? but i was frozen. should i go back? is the reason i'm feeling this way simply because it's what we've claimed as a church? God doesn't really want me to go back and ask him to come to church, right?
so in that moment of silence in my car, i asked "God is this really what you want me to do?' and without missing a beat, my youngest son spoke through the silence. "hey mama, you know if Mrs. Tuohy hadn't stopped the car that night to pick up big Mike, i bet he'd be dead by now."
eli had been watching the blindside on the way to church. and it was in that statement God told me what the answer to my question was.
the boys got out of the car and headed in. i picked up my phone and immediately called kevin, who hadn't made it to church yet. the tears were flowing as i told him everything that had happened in that small five minute span. he said he would go check to see if the man was still there and ask him if he'd like to join us today.
now i would like to tell you that this story ends where the man walked through the doors a few minutes later with kevin and he worshipped with us and it was a beautiful thing. but he didn't. kevin found him. asked him if he'd like to join us. he said no. he was picking up cans to make money to pay a power bill. and that's what he wanted to do. the one thing kevin noticed when he reached him was the trucker's hat on his head that read...jesus is my boss.
today in His word i read of abraham's willingness to go to great lengths to obey God. and today in my life i acted upon something i truly believe God was asking me to do.
was the outcome of the task in either of these situations what i really needed to focus on? no. i believe that there are some things God will ask us to do just to deepen our capacity to obey Him and to build us into the people He wants us to become.
i feel in more ways than one, He is molding me and shaping me into who He wants me to become. and though it hurts sometimes. and sometimes it feels a little or a lot out of my comfort zone, i'm learning to be more and more obedient to Him.