Do you ever feel like you hear the phrase “Just a minute” quite often? Well, I know at my house I do. It feels like you can call a name and they seem to answer, “Just a minute.” I can ask someone to put away their items scattered around the house and they will say, “Just a minute.” A request can be made to get the mail and I normally hear, “Just a minute.” Sometimes when I have heard “Just a minute” enough I make the decision to just do it myself.
I can get frustrated by not having the help and sometimes feel a little unimportant and even unloved. It seems that most times the “Just a minute” can easily turn into an, “Oops, I forgot.” The task or need just seems to lose its place on the priority list and is eventually forgotten.
I was thinking about how frustrating this can be, and instantly God spoke to my heart. He reminded me how often I might say, “Just a minute” to Him. I don’t do this intentionally. but in reality, I do make the choice as to what I feel is most important and the priority in which I complete those tasks or assignments.
In Psalms 119:60 it says “I will hurry, without delay, to obey your commands.” Obedience is an act that comes out of love. We obey God because we love Him. There are times when I have felt the Lord prompt me to make a phone call, send a text, write a card or take the time to pray with another person. On those occasions when I am quick to obey and follow through without saying, “Just a minute,” I might not ever know the reason or see the end result of why God asked me to do something. I will, however, receive the joy and peace in my heart knowing I was obedient to what I was asked to do.
Obedience doesn’t always show you the end result. It is not a requirement to “know” the reason why God wants us to do something. Only God knows the plan and He just wants us to be obedient and follow.
There are also times when obedience isn’t easy or convenient. Sometimes it means dealing with a lot of unknowns. Sometimes it is scary. However, knowing He loved me so much He gave His only Son so I would have eternal life, and that He holds my life in His hands, allows me to trust and obey through the unknown, difficult, and scary times.
Obedience is showing God I trust Him. Sadly there are those times when I have said, "Just a minute,” to God. I get busy, I forget, I have my own agenda and put my tasks, needs, or desires above what God is asking me to do. The truth is I am the one who misses out. God’s plan will not be sidetracked by my “Just a minute” disobedience.
He will accomplish His plan and purpose whether I am the one who participates or not. I don’t like the thought of me saying, “Just a minute” and thinking God will find someone else to obey Him when I don’t. I definitely don’t want to miss out on being a part of God using me, whether I see the end result, it’s a scary unknown situation, it’s a simple task or an act of love. I just want to be obedient!
When I hear God call my name I want to say “Here I am Lord, use me!” I heard a song on the way to work this week that I have been thinking about. The chorus says “What are we waiting for? Why are we wasting all the time like someone’s making more. What are we praying for? What if we could be the light that no one could ignore? What are we waiting for?"
Is the work I do at my job important? Of course it is, but it’s not more important than what God asks of me. Is the schedule I have to be productive, get my laundry, grocery shopping, and cleaning done important? Of course they are, but not more important than a detour God might lead me on. Is it okay for me to have plans? Of course it is, but no plan is more important than God’s plan.
I feel as though God does not want us to wait to pray, share, act, or obey. God knows the number of our days and also what will happen on those days. We do not. I had a nephew who passed away less than a year ago at the age of 38, totally unexpectedly. I had a friend this past week whose best friend died at the hands of a drunk driver, totally unexpectedly. I went to the funeral home last night for a friend who just went in for surgery and died during the surgery, totally unexpectedly.
We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Life is full of unexpected instances. I think it was Benjamin Franklin that said, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” I would change this just a little bit to say ,“Don’t put off until tomorrow what God is asking you to do right now.”
Obedience matters – especially to God. Don’t wait to tell people you love them. Don’t wait to check on someone who is on your heart. Don’t wait to help a friend or even a stranger out if you are able. Don’t wait to pray with or for someone who you know is struggling. Lives can be changed if we just obey. The question is, what are we waiting for?
Jill Johnson, a staff member at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, finds spiritual applications in her everyday experiences as a wife, mother, grandmother and Georgian. She is available to speak to your church's women's gatherings. Reach her at email@example.com.