Paul said to me, “Don’t you feel we are in the middle of a new beginning?” I looked at him, “Yes!” and thought to myself, “Yes, it smells like fresh linen.”
We are in the middle of the new beginning of His promise and His treasure. We can smell it, we can touch it, we can breathe it, we are wrapped by it, we are joyful about it, we pray night after night after night for His joy and peace bursting out in our hearts… at the end we simply look at each other’s eyes and we know, this is where the LORD wants us to be and demands our obedience for as long as He desires. It’s a dangerous prayer!!!
Yet such obedience is constantly being tested when we think of our children.
A year ago, I read this book written by Marie & Norm Ens, a missionary couple who went to Cambodia in 1960s, at the same time raising 4 children. I was very very very VERY VERY inspired and encouraged by her faith and obedience. Not that we hear the LORD is asking us to follow their footsteps (at least not at this moment), however I taste a little bit of the struggles she had. What she wrote moved me to come before the LORD,
“One lonely morning after watching the departure of the plane carrying its priceless cargo (my children) to Malaysia, I knelt by the green wicker chair in our Phnom Penh living room.
“Oh, Lord!” I agonized, “please accept the sacrifice I am making for You in sending my children away again.”
Gently I heard His voice to my heart.
“It isn’t really like that, is it?” He seemed to ask. “It isn’t that You have decided to make some kind of great offering and so you are sacrificing your children to Me. Isn’t this rather just a part of what is required by your overall obedience to My Will?”
“Well, yes, it’s more like that.” I agreed.
I was overwhelmed by the next impression and whisper:
“To obey is better than sacrifice.” The thought surprised me.” — Journey to Joy, Marie Ens
The thought surprised me too >>>> To obey is better than sacrifice. And God always blesses obedience.
Father God, show us how to obey You willingly, joyously, I know You desire of our obedience without a great display of reluctance and anguish.
On another note, we are going to meet Marie Ens in person in about 2 weeks!!