Obedience — by Katie Nations
Obedience has always been somewhat of a hefty concept for me to come to terms with. When I was little, I thought of obedience as following rules and getting bossed around, and let me tell you, I do not like getting bossed around. You see, I have always been one to want to make my own plans for my life. I like doing my own thing, I like planning, and I definitely like being in control.
My siblings and I were raised by two of the best parents you could ask for, who made it easy to want to listen to them and obey them. However, when you’re in those years of growth and development, you want to be able to spread your wings beyond the reach of your parents and make a path for yourself. And we each did so, while finding our own hobbies and passions, but sometimes we went too far out of our parents’ reach that we had to be called back to reality, where they could still protect us. My parents have loved us through every trial and every achievement, and being obedient to them was something that I am thankful that we learned how to do because learning to obey our parents is learning to obey God.
One of the biggest role models for me when it comes to obedience, trust, and a million other things is our beautiful Mother Mary. Mary’s world was turned upside down when the angel Gabriel appeared to her and told her that she would be bringing the Son of God into the world, but nevertheless, she understood that this was God’s will for her, and she obeyed. We may now, 2,000 years later, think, “Wow, what an honor, to be the mother of God!” But that’s only because we know the end of the story. But if we put ourselves in Mary’s place for just a moment, think of everything that was against her. Would people really believe that her baby was conceived by the Holy Spirit? Would they even understand what that meant? Would Joseph stay with her throughout every struggle? There was nothing binding him to her, he could have left at any moment. So many thoughts must have swarmed her mind. Yet, despite all of it, what she said was, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you’ve said happen to me.” How beautiful. I want to trust God like that. Mary brought Jesus Christ into the world, and because of her obedience to our Lord, because of her one “yes,” she single-handedly changed the course of human history forever. Think of what we are capable of when we say “yes” to God’s plan for us.
It can be hard to know what God’s will for us clearly is, at least for me, when we cannot see Him in His human form, hear His voice like we can hear our friends, or hug Him like we can hug our Moms after a long day. I still have trouble being obedient to God’s will, because I often don’t know when He is speaking to me. I’ll admit that I have a hard time trusting people, and I especially struggle trusting the Lord when I can’t see Him right in front of me. But life with God was never promised to be easy, in fact, we were clearly told that we would struggle. We would be left out, we would be made fun of, we would be hated, we could even be killed. Living out this life with God is, in itself, a walk of obedience. We know the truth, and we know what we have been promised. If we are living for the world and its empty promises and tricks, we will get lost and things will be foggy.
Friends, keep in mind that our obedience to God is not tied to His love for us. We fail Him every day, our obedience wavers, yet His love for us is constant and steady.
“It’s not too late,” says the Lord, “you can still come back to me with all your heart.” (Joel 2:12)