Obedience is Bliss
Posted on 12 July 2010
I recently relocated from the Midwest back to my hometown in south central PA. This meant changing jobs, friends and houses. While I was accustomed to restarts in my life throughout my time in the military, this one was particularly hard on my personal, professional, and financial connections. I had to let go of what I was so happy with in exchange for the next path. It wasn’t easy. Like most people, I dread letting go of what I have. I have read many books and used “mind tricks” to psych myself into the belief that what I will receive will be better than what I currently have. Every day I repeated Mother Theresa’s quote, “I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much,” hoping this would flood me with peace about the upcoming uncertainty.
I recently read a quote that created a permanent image in my mind. It said, “When God takes something from your grasp, He’s not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better”. So now I envision myself with a crumpled up five dollar bill in my hand. I hold it tightly because if I open up my hand it might go away leaving me with nothing. But what if I knew that if I relinquished my grip and let the five dollars go, I would be given a million dollar bill? The trick is, I will never know what I will receive until I let go of what I have.
Although there are no guarantees in life I can share one thing that I have seen repeatedly. When you are obedient in following what your true purpose in life is, you will receive a blessing much greater than what you currently have. I was recently at a fund raiser for Lancaster Bible College. Author Bruce Wilkinson was presenting the keynote speech about giving. As he was challenging each of us about what we would give up for the greater good, I got a text from my real estate agent about my house that had been on the market for a year. I had very mixed emotions about this. I loved that house physically and I loved the surrounding neighborhood. It was my Shangri La to get away and visit even if it was only for a weekend a month. The problem was that this was a tie to my past and I could not be fully invested in my future unless I let it go. It was time and money away from what I should be focused on.
Since this text came at a direct point in Bruce’s speech I knew I was having a divine moment. Some may call it a coincidence, but as they say, “Coincidences are God’s way of staying anonymous.” As I closed on the house and traveled back to PA I got a call from my new real estate agent about a house that had been under contract but fell through. When I saw it, I knew what was going on. It was so magnificent that the past, and what was lost or given up, was no longer something to literally cry over. All my previous jobs, homes, and experiences fed together into one magnificent path that I now call my present and future. Rather than looking at each of them independently, I now relish the fact that they are all still a very real part of me.
It is truly amazing what you can receive when you are willing to finally loosen your present grip and open your hands, mind and heart to the future. Obedience truly is bliss!