This morning, my three littles and I hustled out the door with backpacks, lunch boxes and waterbottles in tote. As I looked at my babies walking a few steps in front of me, I realized that these babies are growing up SO FAST before my eyes. So, I did what any teary-eyed mama would do and I told them to stop for a picture. Snapping photos, recording videos and being ever present with these three is my only hope to savor and cherish these moments that seem to be flying by.
Not everyone was on board with my plan, but that’s ok. I snapped a few photos and carried on. We climbed into our van, buckled up and began our journey to school.
On the way there, Kennedi began to talk about how great she and her siblings had been doing at school–how they had gone to school every day, done their best in class and how they had eaten all their healthy snacks. I encouraged her and reaffirmed that her observations were correct. I let them all know, once again, that mommy was proud of them.
“So, can we get a reward? Can we get a surprise for doing good, everyday?” Kennedi asked.
I replied, “No honey, we don’t always get rewards or surprises for doing what we’re supposed to do. Obedience doesn’t always come with rewards.”
I know, I surprised myself with such a deep reply to an innocent five year old question. Especially since I hadn’t sipped my coffee or opened my bible yet. Most of the time, my responses go something like, “no.” OR “sure.” OR “let me think about that.”
Kennedi shrugged her shoulders and moved on–I had a BLOG moment.
I’m currently standing in the middle of obedience–doing what God has asked me to do. I feel like I’ve been standing in this place, day after day, doing what He has asked of me and, like Kennedi, I want to know, can I get a reward? Can I get a surprise at the end of this?
Obedience doesn’t always work like that–most of the time there is not big surprise or big reward that we receive when choosing to walk in obedience. Not the kind of rewards or surprises we are hoping for, anyways.
Kennedi does receive rewards for her obedience, everyday. She experiences positive consequences, positive affirmation, the list goes on. Sure, it’s not a cookie or a new toy, but the rewards she experiences, although are not packaged in the way she hopes they would, are far more valuable.
Learning to do things or to stay in obedience when we don’t want to or when tempted to do something else, is such a powerful and valuable lesson. One I am learning, daily.
Maybe you’re single and you have chosen to entrust your love story to God–you are doing this whole dating thing the “right way” being obedient and trusting God. But, you feel like you’ve been doing this for a long time…you see your other friends (who are not being obendient or doing it God’s way) and they seem to be having all the luck. You’re asking God, “Don’t I get my reward for my obedience?” I want to encourage you, the rewards of peace, security and confidence that you are receiving everyday as you trust Jesus far outweighs the immediate reward of meeting that special someone. Keep trusting.
Or, maybe you are being obedient with a position at work, your finances, your health…whatever ‘it’ might be that you’re doing day in and day out and seems to be no pay off for your obedience, know that you are receiving rewards that are far more valuable and necessary for you to posses so that you can be prepared for that thing/person you’re waiting for.
But I have some good news for those of you who rolled your eyes at the “these rewards are better than finding your spouse” comment–believe me I GET IT. Faithfulness in your obedience does result in rewards! Doing what God has asked of you day in and day out, believing and trusting does yield rewards. So, don’t give up, turn back or lose heart in the middle of your obedience.
You see, God can give us anything–the spouse, the job promotion, the finances. But, it’s in our obedience that He is building things in us. It’s not about the reward for Him, it’s about the person we are–it’s about our dependence and reliance on Him.
TRUTH: “Don’t grow weary in doing good, for in due season you will reap a reward if you faint not.”
DARE: Stay faithful in obedience.