Obedience used to be a word I cringed at. Who wants to “have to” obey. Obedience to me meant not being able to do something.
It’s taken some time but now obedience is a word I smile at. Who wants to consistently receive direction on where to go, what to do, who to be? I do! I’m finding the freedom that comes with obedience. In obedience there is freedom from doubt, worries, fears, insecurity, and chaos. In obedience one can find assurance, love, security, and peace.
I’m all about that.
About a month ago I felt the Lord lay upon my heart to speak life to 3 teenagers at my local mall. It was a busy weekend at the mall and I had just sat down to eat some food-court food with my hubby and our son. All of a sudden I felt that tug, that impression on my heart… “Speak life, they need it.” I took a moment and asked “God is this really you?” Really, it was my own way of copping out. I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to leave my husband and kid. I didn’t want to be annoying or creepy. So I just sat there. It was just a moment and it passed by. The 3 teenagers got up and left. As I sat there wondering why I didn’t move, why I didn’t take action… I realised… I had been disobedient.
Later that night I laid in bed starring at the ceiling. I made a pack with myself. I was going to do my best to be completely obedient. Whatever the cost.
A few weeks went by and I found myself at the Newsong Women’s Retreat. A retreat I had planned and prepared for our local family. Newsong is family. I found myself in a place of deep hunger and thirst for the Lord. As a mother of a one year old you don’t get many chances to take a moment and breathe… to retreat. On Saturday we had built in some social space in the afternoon. I took some time to be social with the Lord. I heard him calling so I followed him.
I don’t know about you but I love to meet with God in the woods. It just seems like home to me and when I’m alone in the woods for some reason I feel at peace and at rest probably more than anywhere else. As I walked the trials of these woods I’d never traced before I began to let the worries of this life fall to the ground. As I chose each fork in the trail, I let go control, and welcomed adventure. It took me a while but after what I would consider a nice walk I came upon a clearing.
It had been raining my entire walk but in the woods I was covered by the canopy of trees and barely felt a drop. At the clearing I looked up to the heavens and let the drops hit my face, and there I prayed. I prayed with a true passion, hunger, and honestly desperation, “God show me your glory!” Over and over I prayed, “Show me glory, show my your glory, show me your glory. I don’t care about anything else, just show me your glory.”
There it was. My full and complete surrender. I had let go. The past 6 or 7 months have been the hardest months of my life. It has been a very personal and very tough journey. Here in that clearing… I let go. And in that moment I heard Him. “Lay down.” Of course the ground is wet from the rain. I don’t want to lay down, I don’t want to get wet. But really, I didn’t want to surrender. “Lay down.” Stern but full of love. I made one of those “childish – but I don’t want to” faces. If anyone else was around they would have raised an eyebrow and thought me foolish. “Christine, you said you didn’t care about anything else. Lay down.” So I looked for a dryer spot. (i.e. shorter grass because surely in the tall grass I’d be soaked) And I sat down. “Lay down.” An inward struggle with the Father because I didn’t want to get wet. Really, honestly, so pitiful I know that now. I sighed in surrender and laid down and prayed. “Lord, I don’t want to care about anything else, just show me your glory.” As I prayed my eyes were opened. And as I laid on the ground I could see straight up into the heavens… not like an angled look you would get from standing.
There laying down looking straight up to the sky, I saw them. Little, soft, precious drops of rain dancing down to the earth. They almost looked like snowflakes, so graceful and playful. In those precious moments I gathered up some peace I didn’t think I could gain. I could sense it. I was fully present. I was alive. And I heard Him, “Here it is. Here is my glory. It’s raining (reigning) down on you.” I received it wholeheartedly like a parched one in the dessert gulps in a cool fresh drink of pure water. I consumed it, better yet I let it consume me, I let Him have me. It was a precious intimate time with my Father. I was one with Him and He with me. I was reassured of His love, mercy, grace, and peace. And it was only because I purposed myself to be obedient.