The dentist and assistant chatted a bit in ‘Dentaleze’ then turned their attention to me. Commands came thick and fast. ‘Open, close, turn towards me, more, wider’. I responded to each command promptly like a dental recruit. Obedient to the voice of this stranger. A stranger.
My obedience is not so quick when I hear the voice of my Father who loves me and knows every hair on my head. If my curly mop was God’s paint by number, there would be a shade for each strand. But I find myself like Paul, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15NIV) I hesitate and form excuses and think ‘Don’t you trust Him? If you really trusted him your obedience would be instant. Like God’s good recruit.
Obedience is a learned concept and I am a work in progress. God is teaching and encouraging me to be intentional, to respond to his voice immediately with words like Samuel’s, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” (I Samuel 3:10b) To what end? To be a better daughter of the King? For my own well being? Because He said so? The short answer is a resounding yes. But if I desire to be an instrument, tuned to the Lord to accomplish His purposes, to instill hope in others through my words, spoken or written, obedience is critical.
In this crumbling fallen world there is a sense of hopelessness. Many people echo the words of Lamentations 3:19-20. They remember their affliction, lack of direction and bitterness. Their souls are downcast in despair. They stop and stew and dwell, wallowing in the pit. As authors of anecdotes and craftsmen of words, may we join other keepers of the Light, and lead folks onward to Lamentations 3:21-23, “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” I am called to be obedient.
Obedience and hope are inseparable. Two words that will not only be my focus but will also be my prayer for every faith filled artist in every medium. May each one’s work abound in hopefulness for a Happy New Year indeed.