We read a lot of books together when my kids were small, snuggled on the couch all together close and tight. They needed to be still and I needed them to be visible. Words spilling all over in a story that gave them freedom to be busy yet forced them to equally stop moving created an almost miraculous moment in our otherwise chaotic day.
I didn’t always appreciate it then for what it was, a #gracemoment that is over too soon Much like the value of many moments I review in retrospect. Hindsight always adds a level of understanding which makes appreciation grow deep within us.
This book in particular has been read repeatedly through the years. A story of a girl name Laura whose escapades not only left us laughing but provided ample opportunity to incorporate her mishaps into lessons that made sense to my kids. It was one of our favorite books together. So we read it often. And the lessons were adaptable, relatable, and teachable.
It feels like so long ago that they were that little, though it didn’t feel that way then. Two of those kiddos are adulting now and the youngest, who was not even crawling when those stories were being read out loud, is now able to drive a vehicle. But we still talk about little things that they remember… I still use the stories that entertained us to teach practical lessons to them now.
One of the stories came up recently, when an electrical fire ignited at the well-pump just inches from the corner of our home. It was a total God-thing that through the whirlwind of our day I even noticed the faint crackling and the wisp of smoke wafting through the air. Or that this small fire was actually extinguished with powder from a red metal can that has been hanging all of 25 years in our basement stairwell. All the could-have-been’s racking my mind after-the-fact pointed to the way obedience brings out grace in the midst of our living and how miraculous it is that He meets us in the mundane every single moment.
After the day settled, our obligations met and we found ourselves around the supper table, we talked about everything again. I brought up that story of Laura and the bear and the cow-pen and how glad I was that even though they didn’t understand my actions they still listened to me and didn’t ask a bazillion questions till it was over. I was reminded how I would recite Luke 2:52 when I was trying to teach them the necessity of obeying in the moment without asking why, and point out that because Jesus was habitually obedient it was a good trait to work on ourselves. And they reminded me of how I would stop every single time to explain why immediate obedience is a must, and if Laura hadn’t obeyed her father at that moment, how much worse it could be. It is funny the things they remember as we talk about life together.
But this thought keeps coming back to me…obedience is more about trusting the one who is speaking than understanding what is being asked of us. And sometimes children’s stories are not just for children. Because that day I was struggling to find joy in the chaos and it took a small fire for me to examine the whole of the situation, and to be grateful for every moment, even when it feels like I have no control.
I am learning that obedience in the small things is so important, monumental even…especially to that still small voice that leads us.
After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. -1 Kings-19:12
How many times do you find yourself hesitating when it comes to obedience?
Like my kids, I often want to hold back and see ‘why’, first. My obedience is not always immediate. If I had not heeded the instinct to search out the crackling amidst noise of my daughter honking the car horn because we were going to be late getting her to work, and the dog barking because she was honking the car, and the chickens running all around us because they always think I exist to feed them… I would have missed the small fire right around the corner. The well-pump is located directly under my children’s bedrooms and right next to the front entrance of the house, the only entrance we ever use. And while my girls were out of the house, my son was inside and wouldn’t have known there was a fire.
It was the presence of that still small whisper nudging me to pay attention, urging me to go and look for the smoke I could only smell after I heard the crackling sound of an ignited flame. And instead of asking why or ignoring the prompting, I followed that nudge and looked for the literal burning bush.
How much do we miss because we are busy or tired or faith-less in our days? How many burning bushes do we walk by completely unaware of the potential blaze they could have in our lives, good and bad?
I sometimes forget WHO God is when He is speaking to me, I also forget that He is wholly trustworthy in the asking. And that is more dangerous than a small fire at the edge of a house. It is soul-amnesia and it can lead me away from the whole way of wellness. I need to listen more. I need to obey quicker. I need to walk wholly in His way consistently.
By this thing I did command them: Listen to and obey My voice, and I will be your God and you will be My people: and walk in the whole way that I command you, that it may be well with you. – Jeremiah 7:32
We are called to obedience because it is a grace and an invitation to belong to something more than, something worthy, something full and complete.When we recognize the power of our surrendered will to the One who leads us to walk wholly in the way of His love, we begin to see the power of obedience. It is all bravery and courage and boldness and adventure with the assurance that the only risk is not following through.
It is through Him that we have received grace and our apostleship to promote obedience to the faith and make disciples for His name’s sake among all the nations. And this includes YOU, called of Jesus Christ and invited as you are to belong to Him. – Romans 1:5-6
It wasn’t till later that we really took in the mercy we met with that day. It wasn’t till after we reasoned with logic how many things fell into place to remind us that we are never far from the grip of His grace. It wasn’t until we could look with wise eyes at what was before us, we saw the handprint of the Father through it all. What was small could have been catastrophic, and I found myself bowing to the One who has continually whispered love into our hearts. Because that is what obedience is all about…. His love for us, working in us and in all our situations to bring wholeness and light into a world that needs spark of hope to light the way.
Beware of reasoning about God’s Word- obey it. – Oswald Chambers
He has never stopped reaching for us and guiding us and teaching us. Even when the lessons seem hard or unwanted… He is still in the dark moments and the unsure spaces where we are blinded by our own lack of understanding calling out to us by name, guiding us to safety.
Moments like these remind me to look back over the days we gather. The ones we let fly by without thanks and without pause. Barely recognizing the miracles and wonders all around us for what they are: A rescue and a restoration and a redemption. Each moment grace meets us is a continuation of the narrative He has been writing on the timeline of our hearts. It reminds me to be intentional to look and to listen and to wait on His voice more and to trust that what He asks is for my best.
Obedience is an invitation to the grace of trusting in something bigger than ourselves… in something we don’t fully understand but know is wholly good.
There is a grace in obedience that makes a way for His love to be seen, felt and heard amidst the noise of our world. Where are you learning to obey Him today?
Last week I failed to stop here in a timely manner and get my post up. I apologize for that. But it was a special day and I realized that I needed a grace day. My youngest girl turned 16 and as I am learning how to live fully, more in the moment with my people counting grace and looking for His handiwork everywhere I go… I realized that I was choosing the best thing. 🙂
I have loved sharing your words this past month here at the #GraceMoments Link Up and I want to continue that course. This week’s offering comes from Susan @ Susan B Mead: Helping Others Find Calm in the Chaos of Life.
Susan’s words seemed appropriate to line up with my own today. She says, “Oh how God gets our attention in magnificent ways.” I totally agree. Yet, it is the story of the way He is working in her days, in the magnificence of His grace and her obedience to His call that touched my heart. Join Susan to see how God has been working out miracles and blessings and add her to your prayers as she continues to obey His call in her life.
Thanks for sharing this with the #GraceMoments Community Susan!
IT’S YOUR TURN TO BE A GRACE COUNTER! SHARE YOUR GRACE MOMENT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW AND THEN COUNT GRACE WITH A FRIEND WITH COMMENT ON A BLOG OR TWO.
If you are a blogger, link up here with a post about finding grace moments in your life or one of your favorite inspiring and encouraging posts from this week. Share your thoughts in the comment section telling me about the #Grace Moments you experienced this week. *(only 1 post per link please)*
Take time to visit your neighbor next to you, and if you want visit a few more friends on the journey. We all need a little encouragement and affirmation as we travel together.
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Each week I will try visit as many of your amazing posts as I can.This is a safe place to sit and dwell in grace together, friends. I can’t wait to pour a cup of friendship with you and take in the grace moments you have to share. Don’t forget to leave a comment below, I love to hear from you.