Obedience

Rarely do I carry cash. It is just inconvenient. However, a few weeks before Christmas someone gifted me with a wonderful and crisp one-hundred-dollar bill. I was grateful. To say that I am frugal is an understatement. I grew up learning to save money. I don’t need a lot of ‘extras’ and my biggest indulgences are books from Amazon and running shoes. I physically feel ill at the thought of wasting money or spending it recklessly. I wasn’t raised to spend carelessly. So, here I am with this wonderful cash in hand with thoughts of what to do with it!

I held on to it for two weeks with thoughts of a fancy dinner or maybe an extra pedicure! Perhaps, a few new books! My mind danced with possibilities. My mind was still doing a little excited jig as I walked into the salon to get some woman things tended to. You can imagine how my already prancing mind rejoiced to learn that the service rendered would be complimentary! No charge! Yay!!!! But then it happened ….

The young woman waxing my eyebrows began to talk about her four children. Her eyes absolutely became shining beacons of joy as she shared story after story. She blessed me so much with her enthusiasm for being a mom and a wife. She was attractive to begin with, but by the end of my few minutes with her she was gorgeous. Kind people will always be attractive. It was then I felt I needed to give her my wonderful hundred-dollar bill. I said ‘No’ to the prompting. In fact, I physically reached into my pocket just to ensure that magical forces had not removed it without my knowledge. It was there and I touched it just to be sure again. There was no way that seconds earlier I was so excited and giving thanks for a free service and now was being asked to relinquish my prize! But that is exactly what I was being asked to do.

I truly believe I felt God urging me to bless this sweet woman. Now I know that scripture tells us that God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). I pray that He also cherishes an unenthusiastic one. I handed the woman my $100 and said in a voice that belied my hesitancy, “I want to give you this. I want you to know how beautiful and rare you are, and I want you to know how much God loves you.” The words were not my own. God was speaking through me with words of affirmation that this woman needed so badly to hear. Immediately, my reluctance turned to joy and we celebrated together with tears, smiles and hugs before I left the salon. What a blessing … for me!

Good things happen when we act in obedience to God’s promptings. Not only was I later surprised with more than triple that amount unexpectedly, but I felt such peace in my spirit. I felt honored that God had used me in such a way. I found myself reflecting on a time when I barely had money to pay my bills. I remember ordering off the dollar menu and then dividing the small meal in two so that I could also eat the next day. I believe with all my heart that when God blesses us, as He has me, we have a responsibility to bless others even when we don’t feel like it – even when we have clung snugly to cash on hand for weeks!

Obedience isn’t always what we would choose. It doesn’t always feel good and it certainly isn’t always easy. Yet, obedience to Christ is more precious than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). If you have been blessed, bless others – and not just with cash. If you have been given a gift, use it to honor God and to serve others. Sometimes your time is what is needed. If God asks you to listen to someone, do it. It can be as simple as treating people respectfully and restoring dignity where it has been lost. Be kind and be generous with your talents, your time, and your resources. Be obedient as good stewards of God’s grace (1 Peter 4:10). Bless and be blessed.

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