Wednesday, July 18, 2007

To Sacrifice or Obey

I am a grown child blessed beyond words by the parents God has given me. My father is a Pastor and I am often able to be spoken to so clearly by my Heavenly Father in the voice of my Earthy Father. It's a pretty incredibly thing! It's a gift to have his love, wisdom, and encouragement as a man who loves me and more importantly loves our God! Today I read in my comments some encouragement from him that really hit home. He encouraged me to read 1 Samuel 15:22:
22 But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD ? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

I will admit going and staying in Haiti long term would have required a long list of sacrifices from our family, it was sacrifices we were very willing to make and were worth it but still sacrifices. It was very difficult for me to hear the Lord tell me no to something I felt so excited about and I admittedly had to pray through some rebellion. I immediately accepted God's answer but not with a good attitude. I do believe that letting go of my hopes and trusting in God's answer has been more difficult then the sacrifices seemed. When I was put in the position to argue with God or willingly accept His answer an example of a great man came to mind... My Father and one of his experiences he shared with me years ago.

It's not my story to tell so I will not go into too much detail but when I was a teenager my Dad found a great passion....something he loved to do. To pursue this passion he spent years of many hours and lots of money to pursue it. It was not a bad thing at all...something he enjoyed and was excited about. After working many years and spending so much money (I'm thinking it was somewhere around 10 years of hard work and certain it was thousands and thousands of dollars) towards his goal he found himself one step away from achieving all he had been working towards for so many years. The night before his dream became a reality he was spending time with God and God told him that if he continued with his plans it was going to take time away from what God had planned for him. He had gone a long ways out of town to take this last step and when God spoke those words to him he packed up and drove the long drive home....leaving all of the work, sacrifices, and dream behind wanting to serve God more then he wanted to persue this dream.

When my Dad told me this I had cried because I know how much what he walked away from meant to him! I was so moved by his obedience to God in such a big way that it impacted me more then my Dad could ever know and served as such a great example. I thought of it again yesterday when I was feeling disappointed. Then to see the comment from him today sharing this verse.... It was sent to me by a man I know truly understands and has lived out that verse!

One of the feelings of frustration I really struggled with yesterday was that I didn't understand was that it seemed to me that God had put the idea in my heart and mind. I did not talk to my husband about it until praying about it, every detail seemed to fall in to place in ways we couldn't believe and were so excited about. We planned to get the airline tickets and passports today and everything was working out so smoothly. Then to tell me not to go at the last minute...why let me get so excited and think it's going to happen in the first place? Now I can see how much I learned from allowing it to happen just the way it did and I thank God for it! Next time I pray I can not only accept God's answer but that I will do it gladly and immediatly with a thankful heart.

My parents make the command Honor your Mother and Father so easy to obey. I am so blessed and I'm grateful that my children will have them as Grandparents and role models!

1 comment:

Julie said...

You told the story of your Dad in Haiti... what a wonderful thing to have a Godly father. My Dad lived in rebellion to God most of his life. Oh, he was a good man and didn't participate in any great sins and that was the problem. He thought he was pretty good. Only in the last three years of his life that he seemed interested in the things of God ~