So, when you love someone, you do some pretty crazy things for them, right? This is something that is just now sinking in… I mean, you’d spend hours writing them letters, or you’d drive long distances to see them. A guy I know actually just took a train yesterday from Virginia to Alabama to see a girl that he enjoys. That’s what it’s like with God. I mean, we’re supposed to obey out of love, am I right? Not out of fear or religious duty, but out of gratitude. (For perfect love casts out fear…)
I was in Topsail Island, North Carolina a couple weeks ago for a missions trip with my youth group, which was amazing, by the way. I absolutely love inside jokes and making everything funny, and an inside joke that had appeared in the tiny room with one bathroom stuffed with nine girls was randomly shouting, “Shalom!” and asking “What sorcery is this?” continually. So, a friend of mine one day decided he was going to eat six cheeseburgers and fries in 30 minutes so he could get his name put on a website of this eating establishment. Apparently this challenge is a big deal, because almost instantly a huge crowd of everyone in the restaurant was standing around him and staring. He just so happened to be sitting by a window at the time, so these children came over and smashed their face all over the glass and stared at him- just in case he threw up. Knowing some of my friends there found my awkward social interactions funny, I decided to go outside and shout, “SHALOM. What sorcery is this?” at the children until all five of them all turned and stared at me, confused. I confess that was the most awkward moment of my life so far, but I did it because I wanted to make my friends that I love laugh. I later got in a fight with one of the children, which was also amusing.
Shouldn’t it be the same with God? Not getting in a fight with random children smashing their faces on a window because they want to watch your friend throw up, but doing crazy things just because you love God. I want to lay down my comfort zone at the feet of Jesus and move let His love take it from there, because that’s where freedom lies. Weird to think that being subject to God’s will is truly more freeing than allowing your own will to control you. On a more serious note, I’ve been there. Last year in school, there was a physically and sight impaired postgraduate at my school who sat alone outside of the lunchroom every day. Alone; all by herself. Honestly, if I didn’t have the Spirit of God in me, I would’ve moved on and attempted to cover my guilt everyday and push myself into apathy, like I’ve done so many times in my life before.But when I saw her alone, this time I knew God wasn’t about to just let me walk on by. I’d seen her so many times before, but now God was calling me to show His love. I am the most socially awkward person you will ever meet. I did not want to just walk up to this girl I didn’t know and say hey. But God had shown me so much love and poured so much grace on me that I couldn’t ignore her. I didn’t feel like reaching out to her, but what if Jesus just didn’t feel like reaching out to me? What if He just didn’t feel like showing me God’s love on the cross? I’d be dead in my sin still.
So I obeyed, for once, just because I knew God loved. And because I loved Him. And she asked me to sit with her. And I did, everyday, just because God is love. I still failed. I was still selfish, I still wanted to go sit with my friends, I still was tired of the judging glances I got, I still felt socially awkward, I still complained every day, and I still failed to be a shining example of God’s love. But even in my failure, God moved. The two of us talked about how when God says to move, it’s best to obey and by the time the semester was over, this girl had called me on the phone and told me how thankful she was that I sat with her. She told me I was the first person to ever break her loneliness. She said that this was the first time she’s ever been able to go through the lunch line and know that someone was waiting for her because she was cared about. And that broke my heart and built my faith.
I can’t help but wonder what would happen if I obeyed God in every area of my life out of love. If I did things because I’m madly in love with Him. I can only imagine how God would take my failures and use me anyway. I can’t even imagine the grace that would fill my life.