Recently God and I were locked in a battle of the wills. (Of course you know who won.) As I squirmed under his thumb, I felt him speak to me in that Fatherly tone that he often uses with me. He said, “You don’t have to like it, you just have to obey.”
Now clearly I would be assured of a greater blessing if I submitted with humble faith to the thing that I didn’t understand. But God and I were beyond the point of tender prodding and gentle leading. I had gone through all my whining “Whys?” and settled into a defiant pout. Now all he could do with me was to pull the “Because I said so” card, the Parental Ace.
I go through this with my own children sometimes. They whine, “I don’t want to brush my teeth.” You don’t have to like it, you just have to obey. “I don’t like peas. I don’t want to eat them.” You don’t have to like it, you just have to obey. I don’t always explain my reasons to my children for the very purpose that learning to obey a parent will help them learn to obey God when he is also silent about his motives. Sometimes children just need to trust that the grown ups know more than they do. And sometimes I need to trust that God sees things that I don’t see.
I’m still not happy about what I know I’m supposed to be doing. I still don’t understand it. But I have grimly set my face towards obedience, like Jonah plodding towards Ninevah with whale vomit pooling in his shoes. I don’t have to like it. I just have to obey.
Last night I prayed, “Lord, change my desires. Give me your desires.” And immediately I felt my cold heart begin to melt a bit. This is going to take some more praying and more submitting of my desires, but I think I’m learning little by little. I still don’t understand, but I choose to obey.
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