The other day I was watching 2 young girls and their mother play by the water. It wasn’t what you would call a warm day, but it wasn’t exactly cold either. As the contestant said in Miss Congeniality, "It was a perfect day—all you needed was a light jacket." As the two little girls ran toward the water, I heard one of them squeal “I’m so excited! I can’t wait!” It wasn’t more than 30 seconds later that she threw off the clothes she wore to the water and was in her bathing suit ready to begin wading. There was only one problem: Her mother, realizing it was cool, told her she had to put her shirt back on. Well, let the temper tantrum commence! Actually, it started off small with pouting. Then begging, “Please don’t make me wear the shirt.” Then it moved to pleading and finally an all out tantrum (complete with tears). It ended with the Mom saying “We’re done” and the whole crew packing up and going home. (I actually felt sorry for the other little girl who was listening and wearing her shirt peacefully—her fun was spoiled because of her sister’s refusal to obey). As I watched them head toward the car I thought, “Kid, you should have just worn the shirt.” I mean, what was the big deal? You had this amazing opportunity to run and play in the water. You and your sister could have had an amazing time, but you spoiled it because you wouldn’t wear a shirt? (It was even a cute shirt with glitter and sparkles!) And then, almost instantly, I thought of how often we as women do the same thing. In fact, we’ve been doing it since the beginning of time when Eve lost the bliss of the Garden of Eden because she had to eat from the ONE tree that was forbidden. Centuries later, the daughters of Eve continue to ignore the abundant opportunities for an amazing life that God has provided because of the one thing they can’t have or the one restriction God placed on their lives. Rather than enjoying all God has given, we pout about what we think were missing or we throw a fit because God’s ways are too restrictive and we feel like we’re missing out on all the fun. In the end, when we refuse to obey and submit to God’s ways, we are the ones who lose as we miss all the blessing that obedience has to offer and experience the consequences of our rebellion.
But there is a better way. We could do what the little girl should have done and simply obey and enjoy life within the boundaries God has given. We can reject the lie that the boundaries of the Bible are restrictive or that God is trying to keep us from enjoying and experiencing life, and fully embrace the truth that there are blessings, safety, and a rich full life whenever we choose to submit to God and obey His Word. The truth is that like the mother who knew the wind was too cold to avoid wearing a shirt, God is not trying to hurt you or keep something good from you. All of His restrictions are for your good. The only thing He is trying to keep from you is pain, heartache, regrets, and years of suffering consequences. So ultimately, the choice is up to us: Do we want to experience the blessings of obedience or act like a spoiled little child demanding our own way only to suffer the consequences of our actions? It really is up to us: We can choose to “wear the shirt” and enjoy our lives, or we can throw a fit, demand our own way and fight God’s perfect will for our lives. What will you choose?
The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes.
God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold, with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate down to the nth degree.
God’s Word is better than a diamond, better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring, better than red, ripe strawberries.
There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger and directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise how will we find our way?
Or know when we play the fool?
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins.
Psalm 19:7-13 The Message
Read More About Experiencing All that God has for Your Life in "The Adventure: Discovering Your God-Given Passion, Place, and Purpose."