Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Joy and Obedience - It's not what you Think!

This week I am meditating and praying Psalm 51:12 and Romans 15:13 and asking God to restore joy. This morning I stayed in Psalm 51 and looked at what follows David's request for the Lord to restore his joy. He prays for joy then says, and make me willing to obey You. Isn't that an odd combination? Lord, restore my joy and make me willing to obey You? Are the two interconnected in some way? When did David not obey the Lord? In this case, the Psalm was written after his affair with Bathsheba and his disobedience did end up stealing his joy. Not only did he desire for the Lord to restore his pre-sin joy - he also needed the Holy Spirit's assistance in being willing to obey God rather than the lusts of the flesh.

For the caregiver, our situation may or may not be connected directly to any sin. Personally, I had nothing to do with my son's injury or the irresponsibility which caused it. But as caregivers, we are still responsible for our daily actions and we need to be willing to obey the Lord. However, my view on obedience has definitely changed. Before the transition that caregiving brought in my life obedience looked more like going to church, leading "worship," teaching Sunday School or going on the mission field. What does obedience  look like from the cave of caregiving?

At first glance I thought maybe I could just discard the last portion of this scripture since it really didn't seem to pertain to my situation. (That would be convenient, wouldn't it?) But after some contemplation and meditating on it a little bit I realized that it may actually be more difficult to obey Him from here. I no longer have such a churchy picture of what that looks like - and I must rely on my own heart - and on His heart in mine.

The scripture in Hebrews 10:16 pertaining to the new covenant comes to mind: I will put my laws in their hearts so they will understand them, and I will write them on their minds so they will obey them. This is our new covenant which was promised to Jeremiah. (Chapter 31) It's in our hearts to be pleasing to Him and to obey His nature. It's not really difficult at all - and it really has nothing at all to do with the "church" as we see it today. It's more about what David was talking about in Psalm 51 - my version would read: Let me not succumb to my own thoughts or desires - but let me crucify my flesh even in this cave and be more like You.

Today my meditation will be on yielding my heart to Him - rather than the feelings and emotions that go along with caregiving. I will think about how He made it easy for me - by placing His law in my heart and granting me understanding. I'll rest in Him and consider how to make my emotions chase after Him instead of chasing after a quick fix, or a feel-good moment. Will you join me?


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