Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Freedom in Obedience

I am busy. Very busy. We have two growing and busy babies under 2. Our family travels more than we are at home. There is dishes, laundry, toys to clean up, floors to sweep, mission updates to write, pictures that need sent to the Grands, boxes to be packed, packages to be weighed... WOW! A lot to do!

More and more, I was getting disheartened because I felt I wasn't doing enough. Yes, I sometimes remembered to give a tract to the checkout person at Wal-mart; but I wasn't always able to go door knocking with Michael. I went to church and sometimes play my violin or sing, but I'm not involved in teaching a class. I visit with my neighbors, but I don't entertain. These are all things I used to do- when I was single.

On Sunday, at our home church in Chattanooga, Pastor Baughman preached a sermon on the Parable of the Talents out of Matthew 19. He talked about the faithful servants, the unfaithful servants, and the rebellious citizens, and how each person today fits into one of those categories. I wrote what I got out of it in the margin beside the verses: The Lord will Return, the Lord will Require, the Lord is a Rewarder. This sermon was wonderful because it got my busy life, that was stressing me due to undue guilt, back into perspective.

God is only requiring from me to do something with what He gave me. He won't judge me based on what others did or had; only what I do with I have. God is a just God. My responsibility is to do SOMETHING for His kingdom. Not only that, I'm to do my BEST and to give my ALL. I'm not to stress that my something, best, and all is different from another servants' abilities. I'm not to judge other servants' service.

This is FREEDOM!

You see, Obedience is the "freedom to be creative under divinely appointed authority." It is "heeding commands that are right and true, quickly, cheerfully, and completely."  To obey God, I must do what He's called me to do.

First of all, I am a child of God. I need to protect my time with God so that our relationship can grow. I need to do it with all my heart. -But I don't have to do it the same way I did when I was single or the way I think the "perfect missionary wife" should do it. I have freedom to be creative while being what God has called me to be.

Secondly, I am a wife. I need to nurture my relationship with my man. He is God's man, and I'm called to be his help meet. Loving him, supporting him, encouraging him- these are my duties. I must remove my expectations of who he should be and learn who he really is. I don't have to be the "perfect wife;" I just need to be the wife Michael needs me to be.

Also, I am a mother. I need to love and care for my children. I need to rear them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, train them, disciple them. LOVE them and grow with them. There's no possible way to ensure "success" in raising children, no perfect recipe or formula- only a Person (Jesus) that they need to know through my words and actions, and a prayer that they choose to know and serve God too.

Lastly, I am a missionary. Somehow, this responsibility seems to have more weight in my mind than the others- I had it out of order. This role comes after the others. And, I must remember, there is no "perfect missionary;" only a surrendered woman willing to share with those God puts in her path. That right. Surrendered and willing. Sharing. That's the requirement. I have freedom to be creative in the WAY that this manifests.



It's like a weight fell off my shoulders. You know, there's freedom at the cross. That is perhaps the point of Matthew 11:28-30

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Jesus calls me to do the work He has designed me to do. It is freeing, because He has equipped me to do it in a special way, and He is only judging me by the opportunity and tasks He has given ME. This year, I'm going to take the yoke Jesus designed for me instead of the yoke Barbara tries to craft for herself. Jesus' yoke for me is lighter, easier, and freeing!

In Him is life, and that, more abundantly! (John 10:10)