Friday, September 30, 2011

"Do Whatever He Tells You."

Years ago I was in a Bible study class with, what is now, a dear friend-Anne. I can only guess her age-from her pure white hair and the memories she spoke of,  she was in her seventies. How precious her faith. I met her, I don't know, some seven years ago.

During the Bible study year, we would spend a week studying a chapter of the Book from the Bible we were covering at home and then come together and share what the Lord had shown us. All week I couldn't wait for class. I would arrive early, settle my children in their classes and then run to grab a seat somewhere close to Anne. Every word she spoke was completely inspiring, touching, true and deep. I would say to myself, 'One day Lord, I have to have the kind of faith Anne has. I want to see you as she sees you. I want to have her strength, her fortitude, convictions, boldness, and complete and utter joy.'

Funny, we became true friends. I say funny because I had reasons to adore her-to follow her around like a lost and hungry puppy, but she somehow adored me. I'd come around-our eyes meet -and she would light up, stretch out her arm and wave for me. she had stories of faith to tell and I had eager ears to hear. We were a pair.

Don't misunderstand me-she had a life of struggles. Hardship. Downright tragedy. Her husband at the time was suffering horribly from alzheimer's disease and she was his only care giver. She held on to her husband with one hand and the Bible with the other. I never saw her faith waiver.

One day after class we were walking out together. I asked her, "Anne, what is your favorite scripture in the Bible?"  She looked at me, stopped and smiled. immediately she spoke-without a second look, or guess, with complete assurance she said, "Do whatever he tells you." John 2:5. she continued... "I have tried to live my whole life by these words."

I truly thought she was going to say the scripture about carrying your cross, or it is not i that live, but Christ in me, or  I am the way, the truth and the life...or even from the Old Testament-the Lord is my shepherd.  but - how simple. How true. And it was just like her to have found that scripture- how lost it is among the story of Jesus' first miracle and among so many other scriptures. I was convicted. I was pierced.

I have challenged myself to live by these precious words. To "do whatever He tells you" brain sometimes cannot conceive how to do that all the time, but I have had to really trust that if He is asking me to do it, then He is not only going to be with me along the way, but also make me able.

In the past few years I've been challenged so many times. For instance- homeschooling my children. People think that just because my degrees are in education that I wanted to or even dreamed to home school, but to be honest, I never thought I'd do it. I was totally scared of the responsibility of teaching every grade to my children. I was a teacher yes, but I taught the same grade for several years before switching. In homeschooling every year is a new grade, new books, new curriculum to grasp.  I did not think I could handle it. I also wasn't so sure about the whole "socialization" thing. I knew some home schooled kids-they weren't -I don't know. But He asked, I obeyed. 

Another time I was asked to lead a vacation Bible school at my church. I used to sit back in awe of people who did huge things like that- that was not me. I never saw myself actually leading a VBS. I had never even attended one as a child!  Stuff like that-God asking me to do things that I was either afraid of doing or just never saw myself in that role- I said yes.

In my years of reading the Bible-(I am not boasting by any means)- I am seriously just a girl...who loves and adores the words within it. I have found it to be a treasure chest of rare and amazing jewels.  I read it over and over again and fine new meanings that touch my heart. New understandings of our Father in heaven and our Lord Jesus. I can never get enough. No book I have ever read has moved me, touched me, changed me as the Word of God.

Anyway, I have read the stories of Abraham, Moses, Daniel and his three buddies,  Nehemiah, Ezra, Esther, Paul, Peter, John- these are people who did anything God asked them to do. I watch movies like Braveheart, Luther, Amazing Grace, Glory - and watch how these men followed God unto death! They did whatever He asked them-and what a profound difference they had on this earth. I remember a quote from Braveheart- a friend is arguing with William Wallace over the idea of fighting England and Wallace says, 'I want to have a home, be married, and have children too, but this must be done.'  these men went against their own desires-dreams for their own lives to answer the call of God for their lives. Abandoning their own earthly desires, to do whatever He asked them to do.

Am I willing to do whatever He asks me to do? To pray with the cashier at Walmart? To share the Gospel with a person in the parking lot? To say hi and make a friend with a new comer at church? To get truly active in a ministry-put my whole heart into it? To take a missionary trip? To commit to read the Bible every day? To abandon addictions? To get into counseling and be emotionally healthy? To love my husband as myself? To stop finding comfort in food, but in Him?

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes..." Romans 1:15-17

My prayer is that I will do whatever He asks of me. To have a heart open, not closed- not filled with so many issues that it snuffs out His voice.- to hear Him. -to be ready to obey. my prayer is that I never tire of the Bible. That with each opening, my heart will race to hear from God. my prayer is that I will pass on this love of God's Word to my children. my prayer is that iI will, 'Do whatever he tells me' and make it the verse I live by.

1 comment:

  1. Amen! Mary's command,"Do whatever He tells you" is absolutely perfect--simple enough to remember. I have begun to see her in a different light--truly the handmaiden of the Lord. We are in John for CBS. What a mind blowing, table turning, transforming, intimate Savior we serve!