Friday, July 1, 2016

The Cost of Obedience

As I drove almost 2 hours early on the first Saturday morning of June to share my story and music with some sweet ladies at a church in the Charlotte, NC area (Wilson Grove Baptist), I was struggling. My daughter and new son-in-law were in town on Friday night for a wedding that next day, and had asked about staying with me that night. That is until I told them I had to leave by 8:00 a.m. Saturday for a ministry commitment. They then decided to stay with her dad and stepmom, and I understood. As I drove, I had a conversation with the Lord about how hard it was to do what He had called me to do at times, not knowing if I would be able to see my children before they headed back to Charleston where they now live. The ONLY Saturday that I had a ministry commitment this entire month was the one weekend they were home. At the conclusion of the women's ministry event, a precious woman came over to me with tears in her eyes, hugged me and told me that her sister and sister-in-law had gone on a weekend trip and she had not been invited, and was very hurt, not understanding why she had not been included. Then she told me that she now knew why, because the Lord had wanted her to be right there that morning, and how He had very specifically spoken to her, as if every word I shared was directly from Him for her. How grateful I was, and told her of my own struggle that morning and how much her words meant to me. As I walked in the door at 4:00 p.m. that afternoon, my daughter texted me to say they were coming by, and we enjoyed an hour visit that included homemade brownies this mama whipped up to go on ice cream sundaes and banana splits, which truly was the cherry on top. Sometimes when we walk in obedience to the Father, it won't be easy, but we step out in faith anyway, trusting that He sees, and is working in ways we cannot see but we will simply choose to trust Him. And He cared not only about that precious woman that day, but also about this mama who was desperately missing her daughter and longing to see her, hug her, and simply enjoy her company before she had to go back to her own new life. He is so good. Scripture says He is a God who sees. He sees you, He sees me. He knows the struggle, the conflict in our hearts and souls on many days when the choices are difficult ones. And once again, He did above and beyond all I could have ever hoped or imagined in a simple choice to be where He called me to be that day. Yes, often times the cost of obedience requires self-sacrifice, and as my friend Lisa Shaw wrote on facebook to me in response to my sharing this story, "Sometimes we obey & never fully see the reasons God is working on. And His rewards are even sweeter than the desserts." And many times it is the very disappointments that turn into unexpected blessings. As one of my favorite songs says, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace."

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