Several months ago, my husband and I convinced each other to follow God’s plan for our lives, whatever that may entail. “It’s the right thing to do”, we bragged. I’d be okay with say, apologizing to a neighbor I may have wrongly accused or maybe even parting with some highly-prized treasure for some well-deserving cause. Heck, I might even take on the next up-and-coming drama for my church (knowing full-well that I have no expertise or background in this area), if it were requested of me. “Whatever He wants, whatever it takes!” was our battle cry.
We quickly discovered that our noble pact was going to require us to stretch beyond our carefully laid, comfortable boundaries; the self-proposed, non-threatening fences we’d built. I guess we thought that it shouldn’t be too hard, just let Him take over the driving and we could go “along for the ride”, blissfully ignorant passengers on this journey through life. I was not prepared for what was to be the next big “leap of faith”. We totally underestimated the significance of our careless vows.
To him that much is given, much shall be expected.
We are very proud parents of five brilliant, well-behaved, good-looking kids. In our humble opinions, our children excel above all others in every aspect, all the time. Well maybe not, but we do treasure our children and they are definitely gifts from God. We understand the magnitude of the commission He has laid before us to bring them up in the way they should go and we strive to avoid provoking our children to anger as the Bible instructs, so all may be well. So, you could say we’ve been given much … what will be expected from us?
We certainly were not counting on having to move to a different state far from familiar surroundings, family and friends. We could never have dreamed that we’d have to give up our secure, great-paying job with benefits and a pension plan. And certainly, we would never be expected to cope with an emotionally debilitating health issue of one of our children. God wouldn’t dream of putting us through all that! Would He?
You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.
So, what do we get out of all this? What is our reward for obedience? Well, if we even have the right to ask that question (which we don’t), I think the answer is given in the Bible. Imagine that! Actually, it’s given in several places within the confines of this instruction manual breathed by the Creator himself, but the one that jumped out at me today came from Deuteronomy. Chapter 8, verses 6-7 says, “So obey the commands of the Lord your God…For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land of flowing streams and pools of water, with fountains and springs that gush out in the valleys and hills.” Doesn’t that sound great? Is it worth it to you?
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desire.
Now, I may be stretching a little here, but I think this move has allowed my husband to break away from his comfort zone so that he can fulfill his dream of becoming a storm chaser. It’s something he’s always wanted to do. He never would have given up that safety net of a job to go and do a selfish thing like chase storms!
We now live in “tornado alley”. My son’s extremely visible skin condition has disappeared, his only medication in the form of the mid-west’s abundant sunshine. I could list pages of benefits we’ve encountered since we made that initial pact to follow God’s plans for our lives, but there is not room in this column, nor do I feel compelled to elaborate to convince you. You’ll come to it on your own. I can tell you this; the first step is the biggest. Once you make the decision to follow Him, to be obedient and do that thing that you know He wants you to do…don’t look back. Don’t try to predict the outcome or even search for the possible rewards. They’ll come. You will be blessed beyond your wildest dreams. But don’t keep score. Even if the rewards never come (don’t worry, they will), obedience carries its own incentive…satisfaction!