There is a word that is heard ringing through the halls of the Wisehart home.
This word is a regular part of our diatribe.
It hangs on our lips and dances on our tongues.
We ascribe much worth to this word, it’s nuances keep steady the delicate balance of parent and child.
Sometimes I find myself speaking it softly, more often it is spoken loudly. And this word – it stands on its own – without any adjectives or adverbs to brighten its sound. The word is strong, powerful, and deadly.
Our sweet daughter, recently running into the precarious age of ten, knows this word well. The two syllables carry a lot of weight in our home, and conversations about obedience reign supreme during this leg of our journey.
And with all this concentration on obedience in my home, it has caused me to reflect on the idea of obedience to my Heavenly Father.
I’m sure He OFTEN wants to strike those two syllables loudly in my ear, just as I do with my daughter. But just as my daughter has the opportunity to choose, so do I.
In my child I am seeing so many mirrored parallels to my relationship with Jesus.
Many times when I’m asking her to obey, she’s playing and laughing, singing and dancing – she just isn’t listening. She doesn’t hear or understand the URGENCY in my voice – the necessity of listening. She is concerned with what SHE’S doing and the fun SHE is having. She doesn’t understand that I see the bigger picture.
I’ve been around longer.
I know better.
And I desperately want what’s best for her.
When I tell her to obey – sometimes she stomps a foot or lifts a whining voice in disagreement. She doesn’t WANT to obey.
It’s not fun.
It doesn’t look like it will be better than what she’s already doing.
Or maybe she runs from me, hides in a closet, hopes that I won’t find her – because she is afraid of what that obedience might mean.
It might mean change.
My heart aches when she turns away from my admonition. I only do it because I love her. Why doesn’t she understand? If only she would realize that I KNOW what is going to happen. I KNOW what this obedience will mean for her. I KNOW the joy it will bring.
Why is she running?
Sometimes when I tell her to obey she nods her head, but she proceeds to do just the opposite. I know she was just pretending to obey so she could continue to do what she wanted. But I know her so well – I know what would bring her the greatest reward.
She thinks I will forget what I asked her to do.
But I won’t.
I know what’s best for her, my precious child.
Then, finally, she obeys.
And she crawls into my lap and pours out her heart to me.
And she admits that if she would have obeyed to begin with, she wouldn’t have felt so much pain. She sees my heart, my love for her. She understands that if she would have surrendered her pride, her wants, her selfish desires, she would have received the blessing earlier – and maybe even more in full.
And I look into the mirror – and I see myself in the eyes of my sweet girl. And I understand how the Father feels about me.
I take a deep breath.
It’s time to obey.
1 John 5:3
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.
This devotional is part of a series following a Women’s Retreat I spoke at. This is a follow-up of our weekend themed CHOOSE. We talked about Choosing Surrender, Choosing Obedience, and Choosing Joy. I hope you enjoy this 5-day series and hopefully find hope in the Jesus who allows us to have a choice in our walk with Him.
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