Wednesday, January 16

Delayed Obedience is Disobedience

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go" Joshua 1:9

That was my first verse for the year that I committed to memory and stored away in my heart.

That first part of the verse, the question, continued to ring in my head over and over with each new day that I continued to walk in disobedience.

"I know I can meet people there but I don't want to go to the local market to get my fruits and vegetables. I'm more comfortable at a big, air-conditioned supermarket."
Have I not commanded you?

"I'm so tired of learning a new language. I make a fool of myself every. single. day."
Have I not commanded you?

"Why can't I have a moment to myself where I'm not needed for something every 5 minutes? And if that double sink gets filled up with dishes one more time..."
Have I not commanded you?

"I don't feel like going on a walk around the neighborhood. I don't feel like talking to other people. Why would they even want to listen to me fumble through every sentence?"
Have I not commanded you?

Finally, I surrendered. Yes, Lord. You have commanded me. I get it. But I just feel so weak and insecure..

Be strong and courageous. 

I'm just afraid that I'm never going to be a part of anything. Something bigger. Something substantial. Am I ever going to feel like I'm where You want me to be?

Don't be frightened or dismayed. 

I just don't know where to start. I don't think I can do this.

I'm with you wherever you go.

You aren't going to ditch me when I accidentally say someone looks cheap instead of young, are you? (true story)

I'm with you.


Can I tell you about my most uncomfortable and rewarding day? That's right. It was both of those. And I promise I'll make it quick. Or I'll make it entertaining so you won't pay attention to the length.

I woke up dreading the thought of going to language class. I hadn't been the past 2 days because the hubs herniated a disk in his back playing basketball. I've definitely been busy the past several days with an injured husband and a toddler. Language class? No thank you. Also, I knew that I was going to have to ride a becak because I still have not mastered the stick shift (but it is a goal of mine). My thoughts: Oh great. I get to bargain... argue... choke the driver until ... bargain with a driver until he agrees on my fair price. I still get overcharged. Skin tax.

Need a photo break? Here's a picture of a becak.

I talk with the driver a little bit while on the way to class. But I'm really not in the mood. I hand him the money with a smile and say "Thank you, Sir" in the local language. With his helmet's windshield (is that even what it's called?) still covering his face he mutters something which I thought had to do with the amount of money I gave him. "I gave you the right amount, right?..Wait, what did you say?" He lifts up his helmet and repeats "Thank you", nice and slow so I can hear. I wanted to clarify that I would have understood him but that I couldn't because of his helmet. I'm not that bad at the language. But I just laugh in that "wow I'm an idiot" sort of way, and exit the becak.

I study some language for two hours.

I have to take a becak back home. I bargain once again. Still overcharged. But I don't care. This guy is a lot more talkative. Most of the time, his sentences ended with the word for "Right?" and most of the time, I had no idea what he was saying. But I agreed anyway. He also took me to the wrong neighborhood. I probably agreed to that. I would have told him he was going the wrong way sooner if he hadn't been taking all those crazy back ways. Oh well, I'm pretty sure I paid him more than enough for the extra gas he had to use to take me to the right neighborhood.

I have him stop right outside of the neighborhood because I have to get some milk and some medicine to help the hubs with his back. This means I have quite the walk back to our house in the back of the neighborhood. While walking back home, I pick up the pace a little bit when I realize that I'm pretty late and I'm sure my very injured husband is ready to be relieved of his Daddy duty for a little while. Did I mention I'm wearing a dark, lightweight sweater? No, I didn't. Because that wasn't an important detail at the time, but it is now. I'm speed walking in July-like weather, carrying milk. I pass by a guy who says "It's hot, right?" This time I know what I'm agreeing to as I pant my answer, "Yea, a little bit."

Fast forward a bit and the Mr. and I realize we are out of fruits and veggies. At first he suggests going to the supermarket. I immediately dismiss the idea because there's no way I want him driving for that long in his condition. Then he offers to drive me to the market close by. I feel my whole body shrug. That was actually the last thing I felt like doing. But I knew it was what needed to be done. So we loaded up in the car and head out. After the hubs drops me off, I begin to meander through the market and gather everything I need. Then I decide that I'm going to go to the fruit stand of a lady I already met. She's happy to see me again and I make sure to catch her name this time. Dina. She gives me a few more apples than I paid for.

We return home and I unload the fruits and veggies. Then I sit outside and let Little Man run around in our front 5'x5' yard. About 10 minutes later I see two guys walking through the neighborhood who look as though they want to sell something. They stop at our neighbor's gate and I take that as my cue to get me, myself and Little Man inside. Just as I had put all my stuff inside and was getting ready to grab Little Man, I see a young girl walking down the street with a boy a little older than Little Man. Something within pulls me right back outside. Then that same something pulls me right to the edge of our gate. And then, all of a sudden, I'm initiating a conversation. The icebreaker. And that's exactly what it felt like once those first words left my mouth. Things seemed to flow pretty smoothly afterwards. Little Man loved the little boy, who I later found out was a boy she was taking care of, not her own. At one point, I looked over to see Little Man giggling uncontrollably at whatever it was the little boy was doing. Everything seemed so divine. So guided. Like Somebody had it planned all along.

Another photo break and shameless plug to show off my adorable Little Man.
Look at the cutie! 

About 30 seconds after she left, I realized I forgot where she said she lived/worked. So, I decided to do the totally non-creepy thing and walk with Little Man in the general direction she headed. I just wanted to catch a glimpse of which house she went inside. Fortunately, I didn't have to walk far because the house was literally right around the corner.  Then, in a not so discrete way, I did a complete 180 degree turn and headed back home. Right in the middle of the road. Fortunately, there was a crazy dog barking at me and Little Man a little ways ahead of us. Therefore, any onlookers that noticed my abrupt turn around probably thought it was because I was afraid of the dog or something. No matter. That works much better for my "I have good intentions with my creepy-like behavior" image. I digress...

I praise the Lord for today.
He is with me. I felt His presence today in every conversation.
He sat next to me on my becak rides.
He walked around with me as I wandered through the market.
As I began looking at fruit at one stand, He tugged me in the direction of the lady I already knew.
He brought me outside my house.
He gave me a gentle shove on the back in the direction of the girl walking on the street.
And I'd like to believe, He caused the girl to have to fiddle with the lock on her gate a little longer so that she wouldn't notice I kind of, sort of, definitely followed her.
He was with me, wherever I went.

Are you afraid or dismayed about something? Don't be.
He is with you.

Are you discouraged? Don't be.
He is with you.

Do you think that you are so far from where He is that you don't even want to try to take that step of faith towards Him? You're not too far.
He is with you wherever you go.

He has already commanded you. So be obedient. And yes, even delayed obedience is disobedience.

1 comment:

  1. The only failure is in not ever trying, you are very brave, and it is natural to feel like you did, but you have stepped into a new galaxy and the world is open now at your feet - walk slowly and enjoy all it has to offer and in years to come you will often look back and wish you could revisit these days, they go by too quickly, grab onto life with both hands, dance even if someone's watching, laugh long and loud, and skate thru to the next eternity like the devil's on your heels.
    Take care and GBU


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