I love how God chooses to teach us, especially when we’re willing to listen. We have this propensity to misinterpret our circumstances and the world around us. Understandably so – since the lens through which we view that world is comprised of our experiences (good and bad), our sin, others sin against us, and the unique relational qualities we each carry.
It is fun to learn from God. This is not to say that comparing notes with others and learning from others is not an important part of the process. But there are times that only God can provide the answers to many of our questions. Even more so when obedience to Him can bring even further clarity.
A recent experience points to why these observations are so relevant in this moment.
So, here is a biggie for me—Submission. The way that word was abused in my upbringing makes my skin crawl. I saw it modeled in my home in a way God never intended. Literally, my Father expected my Mom to yield in every way to his authority. Not healthy.
Outside of submitting to each other, and in a work environment to my boss, I have never fully got it. Especially in the confines of marriage. But when God decided it was my time to learn, as long as I was listening, He was planning to shake things up a bit.
For starters, you need to know that my husband is a gem. By that I mean he is rare and precious, totally brilliant, and amazing. He is a protector and has taught me what protection looks like. Another concept I did not understand until God told me I was getting a protector. I wasn’t even sure I wanted one. That tells you a little bit about my personality. Pretty self-sufficient. Steve’s protection of me comes from a heart of love and service. It’s always about seeing what I need—often when I am not even aware of it—and making it happen. It’s about making my life better and more manageable. He really is a gem.
So last week I had a migraine that kept rebounding – for nearly 7 days. And on day 5, I had a really hard time at work. Steve picked me up and driving home we passed one of my favorite farms. Primarily because it houses eight beautiful draft horses. I always look for the big guys when passing, usually starting a half mile before we arrive saying – I wonder if my horses will be out. Often, they’re in the back field, not close enough to a place where you can stop and give them a good scratch on the head and a few handfuls of sweet clover. But on this day, all eight were standing right by the fence. And I thought I was getting a God kiss (a place where he invades our world to say—see what I brought you).
I wanted to stop but Steve needed to be home before sunset to cut the grass. He told me I could take the car and go back but also said he did not think it was a good idea and stated the reasons why. Mostly because of their proximity to the road and what it would take for me to get close to them. Exposed to a busy highway. I planned to ignore his advice because I was so excited to see the horses. BUT, I heard a quiet whisper in my ear asking if I was willing to listen to my husband. After much internal banter with God, including Him making me question if my husband would advise something that was not in my best interest, I agreed not to go. I simply told Steve that, although I really wanted to go, I knew he was looking out for me, so I was going to play with the dog instead and try to de-stress.
As soon as I told Steve, I heard in my head “do you see what submission really looks like?” What? Submission? And then God slowly showed me that submission to Him or to my hubby is so easy. It is not about an autocratic ruler, lording something over me. But rather someone who is so loving they know what I need, even at times when I do not. They provide wisdom for me to make a choice. I still can choose, but with all the facts on the table.
Even funnier, when I was on the back porch, God gave me a few unexpected “kisses” that I would have missed if I had gone to see the horses. He brought two “specialty” birds to my feeder that I had not seen for several months. One was in Indigo Bunting sporting beautiful blue colored feathers.
The greater blessing from the day was experiencing a marriage relationship that drew closer to the rightful order of things. Like back in the garden. Just by listening to God and understanding Him in a clear, “non-religious” way, I stepped back in time. A little closer to what God intended when He created me. Us, as partners in this journey called life.
Thank you, Lord, for your provision. For teaching me the rewards of obedience.