A few days ago, God revealed something to me. He showed me that I've lived trying to obey God because I feared what would happen if I didn't... feared disappointing Him or somehow "letting Him down". What I've found is that obedience with this root of motivation---fails miserably! At least, that's been the pattern for me.
Trying, trying, trying.... fear, fear, fear.
And I'm not talking about the kind of fear that is healthy and stems from an awe of our Maker and a belief in His Greatness and Power.
The kind that on a "good" day, had my ego inflated thinking I had it under control and as long as I could keep it up, I'd be okay..... But far more often had me defeated and discouraged, always afraid that I just wasn't good enough and if I could just try harder, be better, figure it out, pray more, have more self-control...
I wanted it my way, on my own strength. I desperately fought for control and thought if I could just do things right, I'd get what I wanted.
Some days I can say that I'm grateful it hasn't turned out the way I'd always hoped. (other days.... well, I still have a ways to go)
The thing is, God loves me far more than I ever dared to dream. And WAY more than I ever grasped in Sunday school. There are just some things I never got... didn't understand. Or maybe didn't want to accept. But there is something about coming to the end of myself that has given me a dose of courage to dare to discover more.
And what if, I could obey God, the King of kings, my Creator...... simply because I trust Him?
God's goodness. His goodness to give me a glimpse of beauty amongst the ashes. Because this single truth is life-changing for me. It means freedom. Freedom to live in assurance of His promises despite my circumstances and freedom to claim the blessings of obedience that flow from a heart secure in the grip of the Almighty's Hand.
"O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'" Isaiah 30:19:21