“Give it up.”
The thought came seemingly randomly. There was no way I would have come up with the idea on my own. Yet I knew it wasn’t my imagination.
“Give it up,” the thought persisted.
This can’t be God. God wouldn’t ask such a thing of me…would he? He knows that this is one of the simple things in life that I enjoy, look forward to, thank him for every day. I fought it for months. Then January came—our yearly time to set aside a few weeks for focused prayer and fasting. Reluctantly, I chose to finally obey what I knew deep down was God’s voice prompting me to give up something so cherished.
Day 1: I miss it.
Day 2: I don’t feel so well.
Day 3 (three!): I’m dying.
Day 4: I don’t think this could possibly be God. This is inhumane.
And so the days went by. The first week was awful and the second wasn’t much better. But by the end of week 3 I felt better, knowing I was walking in obedience. In fact, some physical issues I was having had cleared up and I knew this was to be an ongoing change for me.
I don’t know why I have this pesky little habit of hanging on to things that God wants me to give up for my good. It’s always in my best interest to obey him—and I know it is—yet I fight it like toddler fights a nap he desperately needs.
11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.
Proverbs 3:11-12 (NIV)
In his love, God was asking me to give up something because he knew that doing so would draw me closer to him. Whatever God is asking of you today, remember that he loves you and wants what is best for you. When you surrender to him, you are surrendering to his best plan for your life.