Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? When we regard our fears over God’s promises, are we refusing God’s protection in favor of a path we feel is better for us? What are God’s expectations at this point; is he looking for a reflexive response or one more thought out yet compliant?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
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Our Wiener Dogs are fairly typical for Wiener Dogs. They like to dig, hunt, run and, of course, be obstinate. The dogs have a stubborn nature about them, as any Wiener Dog owner can testify. As loving as they are, they are also difficult to train and willfully ignorant of your purpose to direct them. For example every evening as we retire to our bedroom upstairs, we also retire the Wiener Dogs to their crates in our bedroom as well. Now, Wiener Dogs are not supposed to climb stairs as their backs are very long and susceptible to spinal issues. We have, however, trained two of the dogs to climb safely when the stair light is turned on. One of our dogs, Sammie, however, is always carried up the stairs at night since she’s never learned to negotiate them in the first place. Last night after I had carried Sammie up I came back down to usher the other two dogs up the steps. Frodo dutifully climbed as soon as the light was turned on as taught. Emma, however, sat at the bottom of the stairs waiting to be picked up. Even though the light was on and she knew what to do, she refused the light and my command in favor of being carried like Sammie. I chided her for not obeying, but she wasn’t moved. She refused the light and had decided there was no way she would climb those steps.
Emma had decided to regard her fears before obeying my command. She was strident in her refusal to climb even though I would be right behind her. When it comes to obeying God sometimes, we are no different. Regarding our fears over his promises, we refuse his protection in favor of a path we feel is better for us. What are God’s expectations at this point. Is he looking for a reflexive response or one more thought out yet compliant?
Here’s a story. Neil Marten, a member of the British Parliament, was once giving a group of his constituents a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament. During the course of the visit, the group happened to meet Lord Hailsham, then lord chancellor, wearing all the regalia of his office. Hailsham recognized Marten among the group and cried, “Neil!” Not daring to question or disobey the “command,” the entire band of visitors promptly fell to their knees! (Today in the Word, July 30, 1993.)
When the Apostle Paul met Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, he was confronted by a bright light and a question and a command: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? . . . Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do” (Acts 9:4-5). Jesus asked the question and then gave the instruction. Paul didn’t refuse the light, but I’m sure he did reflect, if but for a moment, as to who, what when and where. This is how God confronts you and I when he seeks our service and obedient response. Unlike those visiters to Parliament God is not looking for blind obedience. Rather, he is looking for contrite and fearful obedience. I carried Emma up the stairs that night, just as God often carries us and guide Saul. But, you can be sure that we practiced again the following night in an effort to get her to obey the light. May you and I always respond to the light of God’s questions for us always seeking to find the answers as we follow his lead.
We pray. Thank you Lord for being patient with us when we are fearful of where and how you want us to walk in faith. Sometimes we get stuck in our fears, unwilling to answer the questions you have for us that will help us change our lives from obstinate to obedient. Forgive us Father when we hesitate because we want something different than what you are offering us. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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