Learning the Hard Way

Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered. – Heb 5:8

Obedience. Why is it that I struggle with it? You would think that once I passed childhood, that I would have taken care of this area of life. I do feel that I obey God in several areas, but I always have learning to to. I need to learn to obey more. To hear God’s commands clearer, to act immediately.

I often joke that I wish we could learn things like obedience from reading a book. 12 Days to Obedience. 40 Days of Obedience. God has a better way of twisting our lives into his. A better way for me to learn the lessons of the kingdom and walk according to principles: suffering. I really hate learning like that, but I do learn my best when I suffer.

I have learned some obedience in finances. After my life being characterized by poor choices of how I have handled money, I had to deal with some suffering. Enter the long process of digging out of debt. We are on the road for sure and have knocking out some ridiculous debt and are slowly becoming better managers of money. Looking back I have seen that we have been obedient (for the most part) with correctly handling money – once we went through the suffering. I had to get to a place that I was mad from the suffering. I finally got so sick of it that I had to make a choice: learn to be obedient or allow things to get worse.

It is no wonder that some of the people I respect the most are people who are familiar with suffering. They seem mature, well-grounded, and have a proper perspective on life. Why do I spend my time pushing suffering out of my life? Should I welcome it as a teacher? Maybe I should look at suffering in my life as a great teacher. Maybe it is not to be avoided. Maybe it is to be wrestled with and learned from.

God, I don’t want to pray for suffering. I do ask that in suffering you allow me to hear clearly from you. In suffering, may I be obedient. May my prayers not be wining and complaining about you fixing the problem, but that you would help me learn things that can only be revealed in suffering. You were no stranger to suffering. You were no stranger to obedience. I do not want to be a stranger to either. I do not want to be a stranger to you.

[tags]suffering, obedience, Bible, devotions, journaling, Hebrews, finances, money, debt[/tags]

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