Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Obedience and heartache

I always get depressed after going to the movies in South Africa. It is a strange phenomenon. I’m not sure if it’s the particular genre I choose to watch (which, being that I’m a 25 year old female, is mostly romantic dramas) or the fact of watching HOME and all the images of the kind of life I could have flashing by. It's probably some combination of the two, I don’t know, but somehow I always walk out of the theatre feeling kind of achy inside.

Recently God’s been speaking to me about obedience and heartache. Obedience, radical obedience, always costs us something. I love to read missionary biographies. I am always inspired and amazed by their stories of radical obedience to what God called them to. In all those stories, I see again and again that obedience is always linked to brokenness. Story after story tell of people who followed Christ and how they were broken and beaten for it, how they experienced unbearable heartbreak and loss, but out of their simple act of obedience, out of their brokenness and heartache, thousands upon thousands were blessed.

True obedience to God, living a life that is yielded to his purposes, will always cause some heartache. For me, right now, that heartache plays out in front of me at the theatre in pictures of a life I cannot have and screams at me in facebook statuses of people enjoying pleasures God sees fit to deny me right now. But I have a choice, to wallow in my self-pity and curl up with my heartache and a piece of chocolate cake or to suck it up and keep going with a steadfast, unwavering faith in the fact that He is good and “He knows what He does.”

Maybe your act of obedience doesn’t require you to move to a strange country or to lay down your life for the sake of the Gospel like those missionary heroes of old. Maybe it doesn’t require some seismic change or physical death, but it will certainly cost you something. It will require some brokenness, some death to yourself, and your flesh will most certainly scream out in self-pity, but when it does, I hope you will choose to suck it up and keep going because who knows how many may be blessed by your simple act of obedience.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Totally agree. That's why the Holy spirit is our comforter! Brokeness and suffering is part of christian walk.The good news is that the result of these is spiritual fruits:)

Wei

Ana said...

Soooo good, Emily. Believe me; I feel you. Living overseas and doing "Kingdom work" is absolutely, positively raw, challenging, and many times lonely (even with a husband). But He is so good all the time, and He will complete the good work He's begun in us and those around us. Praying for you today, friend. Thanks for a great post.

Emily said...

Thanks, Ana! I'm enjoying reading your new blog. It's always good to know there's other people out there fumbling through this "kingdom work" with all it's ups and downs too :)

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