Obedience can seem like a long road, until we take it one step at a time as Candace Cofer suggests.
By Candace Cofer
I reached into the dryer to fold towels, but much to my surprise, they were all damp. I checked the vent. It was clear. Hmm... I turned off the breaker but still no heat. Frustrated that wet towels would be in the dryer overnight, I did what every diligent homeowner does… I went to bed. Apparently I was more tired than frustrated because the thought of air drying didn't last more than a couple seconds. The next day, when the repairman suggested we try the breaker, I said, “Yeah, I tried that last night, too."
He smiled and said, "But, did you have one foot in the air while you did it?!"
Laughing, I said, "Well, of course, not! I forgot that part..."
Standing in front of the breaker with one foot in the air, we counted aloud to fifteen. He flipped on the breaker, and sure enough, the dryer started working!
Reflecting on this, I began to wonder: Could this be how Peter and the men felt on that no-catch night? Frustrated. Tired. The next day, a “Repairman” comes. The optimal time for fishing has passed, but Jesus instructs them to go back out — a command as laughable and absurd as the one-leg breaker trick.
In the midst of his doubting thoughts, Peter says, "Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets," (Luke 5:5).
Even though Jesus’ words didn’t make sense to Peter, he offered some powerful words of obedience: “But at your word I will…” I imagine Peter walking up to his crew, probably rubbing the side of his nose as he delivers the unpopular and laughable news that they are going back out. He didn't understand — and he was probably reluctant to do it — but he obeyed. Turns out, their catch was so great the nets were breaking and they needed a second boat and more fishermen to help!
Throughout scripture, often obedience doesn't make sense. God’s direction in my life is often paved on roads out of my comfort zone, those turns which make little to no sense. First it was, step down from setter/captain position on the varsity volleyball team. Zero sense. “But at your word I will…” Next, move from Texas to Oklahoma, leaving a comfortable job as lead teacher and take a significant pay cut. Zero sense. “But at your word I will…” Trade the classroom for a cubicle and start in an entry-level position for which you are over-qualified. Zero sense. “But at your word I will…” Write a couple devotionals and books even though you have no audience to read them. Zero sense. “But at your word I will…” Start a blog. (I always had thought bloggers were weird. Now, I know that to be true. We are weird. And by "weird," I mean passionate.) Zero sense. “But at your word I will…” Time and time again, obedience doesn't make sense, so we must remember:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
Deep down, what do you feel you are supposed to do but it makes no earthly sense? God’s not asking you to take five steps, just one. Then, he'll show you the next and, even more, he'll prepare you for it.
When that one step of obedience turns into a year of baby steps of obedience, blow up the balloon and celebrate his faithfulness to walk beside you and lead you through it all.
Candace Cofer is a serious ef-ficionado. You read that right. Efficiency enthusiast. 7:30am grocery shopper. 2pm marathon napper. 10pm book reader. Learning how to slow down and be here, thankful to be a work in progress. As founder of The Good Day ministry, she is passionate about Jesus and people, inspiring others to grow in their knowledge and love for Jesus and experience God in the ordinary happenings of their days. Wanna know more? Listen to the podcast or read the blog, it’s all in there. Or follow Candace on Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook!