Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dusty Obedience

The weather in Lubbock today is nasty.

I can think of no other word to describe the blowing wind that leaves residue of dust in your eyes and teeth…yes, it is one of those days in Lubbock where the sky turns a shade of brown and you do everything within your power to stay inside. I was going to run a few errands after work, but after one stop I quickly decided I should get home & stay safe from this evil dirt.

As I was driving home, however, I was struck by a sight that has made me think for the last hour. My drive home took me down a street where a man stands every Sunday-Friday, 6am-6pm with a sign that says “Jesus Saves Souls.” I’ve never met him, but I read an article about him a few months ago…and I see him at least twice a day…everyday…on my way to work…and on my way home. I’ve never seen him sitting and I’ve never seen him miss a day (other than Saturdays when he said God told him to take as a Sabbath). His story is fascinating – you can read about it here

But as I saw him fighting the elements of wind and dust, I immediately heard the Lord whisper that there is much more he has to face day in and day out as he simply obeys what God has asked him to do. He fights boredom, exhaustion, the jeers of passersby, and the doubts of so many.

My mind immediately went to Ezekiel in the Bible who also obeyed even in the face of tremendous hardship and condemnation. I once wrote a paper about him in seminary discussing his “suffering” as well as his extravagant obedience. Did you know that he literally laid on his side for A YEAR in obedience to the Lord?! He also lost his speech and was asked by the Lord to refrain from mourning the death of his wife – his life was a life of extreme obedience…and yet, his life was also full of power. The name Ezekiel actually means, “God strengthens” and as I came home today and thought about the man with the sign, the Lord reminded me that whatever He asks of us to do, He will give us the strength to carry it out.

I like to think that I’m an obedient person – Paige actually means “obedient Spirit” – and I do my best to say yes to the Lord…BUT today, as I’m honest with myself I recognize very clearly that there is one area in particular where I’ve allowed the wind and dust to derail me from doing what God has asked me to do. I’ve preferred to stay clean and in a comfortable place…and yet He is whispering to me that there is strength in obedience – it is His strength. I don’t know where you are, but like me you may need to learn from Ezekiel and the man on the street corner – that today is a good day to say yes.


Jennifer said...

As soon as you started talking about that man on the street- I immediately thought of Ezekiel! And what the heck...why haven't I read your paper on him?? You know he's my fav! He's always in my head whenever I'm trying to justify delayed-obedience.

And the dust storms. The ONE thing about Lubbock that I never, ever miss. Stay clean!

Angie Neal said...

Such great thoughts Paige.

I was encouraged by your reminder that He gives us the strength to obey. It's hard to remember that, when what He's asked seems bigger than what we think we can do. Thanks for your honesty and encouragement!

Sarah said...

WOW! I dont think I have ever seen this man. Amazing!

Javier Mendoza said...

Very great post! Really makes sense and really makes me think. How many times have I let my circumstances direct my obedience. I really appreciate your obedience in making sure to write what you did.

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