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Teach Me (But make it easy, please.)

Updated: Mar 12, 2023

I love it when scripture leaps out and speaks directly to me and right in the moment when I need it most. What I am less comfortable with is when that scripture reminds me that following God isn't always easy and the lessons I learn along the way are more than words on a page where I can find the moral of the story and consider how I can apply it; rather, they are real accounts where I have to live through the difficult moments in order to learn.

"Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead."

Psalm 86:11-13

Consider a time when you walked out of a Sunday morning worship service feeling totally inspired to say, "Lord, show me what You want from me! I want to serve You in any way I can!" Perhaps the conversation went something like this....

Me: "Teach me, God."
God: "Why?"
Me: "Because I want to know."
God: "Why?"

Me: "So I know what to do."

God: "When?"
Me: "All the time."
God: "Are you sure?"
Me: "Yes. I want to always know what You want me to do."
God: "But will you?"
Me: "Will I what?"
God: "Always do what I want?"

Me: "Of course!"

God: "Sure?"
Me: "Yes."
God: "Really?"
Me: "Yes, Lord!"
God: "What if it doesn't make sense?"
Me: "I will do it!"
God: "What if it seems strange?"

Me: "I'll do it!"

God: "What if it will hurt?"
Me: "Ok. Yes. I'll do it."
God: "What if you have to let go of something you love?"
Me: "Um. Sure. Ok. I can do it."
God: "Even if you have to let go of everything you love?"
Me: "Um. Yeah. Ok. I think I can do that....
It's not going to, though, right?"

When I think back to times God has seen me through struggles, I don't recall really knowing

He was getting me through it. I may have known I wasn't alone and I may have clung to some hope that it would get better, but I didn't know. It isn't about knowing how things will turn out in the end as much as trusting God to do as He has promised. He has proven faithful time and time again. Did Noah know how long it would rain and the earth would be flooded? Did he know when, or even if, his family would step out on dry land? I will venture to guess he did not. He received very specific, and strange, instructions to build an ark to exact measurements, then to bring in two of each kind of living creature, then to close the door and to not reopen it until God said to, even when all the people outside the ark were screaming for helping. The ones crying to be saved were people he had known, possibly worked with them, shared stories around a dinner table, perhaps danced at their wedding and traded goods with their households in the market. After all, Noah was 600 years old!

He's been around long enough to have formed some relationships with neighbors. Can you imagine the ridicule he faced while building the ark? Step by step, as he completed the construction by the plans God had given, animals begin to line up and enter the ark, no struggle. Amazing! Then rains start pouring from Heaven and springs burst forth waters (Gen. 7). Yep! Noah heard God right. The earth was flooding. Those very same ones who stood by and ridiculed Noah and his family were now pounding on the ark and shouting for the targets of their previous jokes to let them onboard. "Save us!" The cries continue. Then silence.

The rain stops. Water begins to recede. Dry land appears. Off the ark they all go. Just Noah and his family remains. God gives a new promise with a never-before-seen rainbow to seal the deal. Noah didn't know this promise was coming. He couldn't have imagined how he would feel when the silence came and the land vanished from sight. He couldn't have imagined what the shouting and pounding would sound like. He couldn't have known in the beginning how he would get all the animals on the ark or keep them corralled and calm. He only knew the directions he was given by God and that he needed to obey.

While I have never seen an act of God at a global proportion such as that, He has moved in my life and I can count on Him to do it again. His promises throughout scripture have been proven over and over. Why would I begin to doubt now just because I don't have the big picture of how my situation will turn out? In the end...God wins. Every time. And God is on my side, and yours!

Go where He leads and BE BLESSED!

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