“Are you happy?” my friend Gerda asked the small, crying boy standing before her who could not find his way out of a drowning fit of tears.
“NO!” came his sobbing reply, “I’m really sad!”
“Do you want to be happy?” Gerda asked with a gentle, patient smile.
“Yes,” he quietly let out with a gasp of air between sobs and a little nod of his head.
“Then you need to trust and obey.” She replied.
With that the boy’s tears subsided, his eyes grew wide, and recalling the words of the song he knew well, he continued, “For there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey!”
And then, by way of the miraculous, that dear boy’s heart lifted from his frustration and sadness unto hope. With relief from his misery within reach, he excitedly replied, “I’ll obey, Gerda!”
He had no more arguments. It made sense to him. The song said it, so he believed it. He trusted and responded with faith that obedience would lead him into the happiness he so desired!
As I watched my wise friend guide this young soul with sweetly simple hymn lyrics, I was stirred with awe. It was so profound to watch the power of truth take effect in this little child’s life. Truth shifted his eyes up from his own consuming misery so that he could see the way that would set him free. And it moved me deeper still knowing how vital it is for my own soul, as a grown-up child of the King, to listen to truth, trust my Heavenly Father, and obey Him. No arguments, just trust and obedience.
No matter the struggle we may be facing, God’s Word, His love, and His promises meet us in our need and lead us up from the bonds of sadness, confusion, discontentment, disappointment, fear, anxiety, or whatever our struggle may be.
I’ve had my own moments — albeit the grown-up version — of that dear little boy’s drowning fit of tears. I’ve cried over the desire to see my circumstances change, the longing for marriage and children, to see a loved one healed, in the wake of great loss, or over the uncertainty of the future. And I’ve given way to moments of intense frustration and sobbing desperation. But in the dark depth of these moments, when I’ve chosen to turn to the Lord, I’ve unfailingly found refuge in His comfort, guidance in His Word, and hope in His great love. And always, there is a call to not only trust in the Lord but to obey.
The obedience He is asking for may be as simple as: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (Prov. 3:5) or “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thes. 5:18) or “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). Yet in the simplicity of these truths, there is a profound and glorious reality that the living God is speaking … to you and to me … through His Word. Do we grasp the wondrous gift and glory of this? God Almighty is speaking through His Word, that we may know Him and receive in Him all we need.
Oswald Chambers says in My Utmost for His Highest, “…faith is deliberate commitment to a Person where I see no way.” If Christ is Lord of our lives, then we have set our faith in Him. No matter what life brings, dear reader, He is the way for us. In Him fear finds courage, anxiety finds peace, confusion finds guidance, grief finds comfort, frustration finds surrender, uncertainty finds hope, and … sadness finds a happy heart. But to lay hold of this in our lives, we must take those steps of trusting His Word and obeying whatever He asks.