Listen and Obey

While serving at Big Stuf camp, there were tons of things for the volunteers to do. All the men in my family were serving on the production team, and Laura and I had a blast helping in the camp store. It was my first time EVER to run a real cash register. I am not sure how I have lived this long and not manned one of those, but I have decided that should nursing ever not be an option for me, I will find a job running a cash register. Maybe. I goofed up a lot.

One kid wanted to buy a sticker and somehow I rang it up and the total was over five thousand dollars… boy was he surprised. After I picked him up off the floor, I discounted his sticker to two bucks… Just keep all that under your hat. I want to run a register again next summer.

Another of our family’s new friends from our Daytona week is Pastor Jeff from Tennessee.

Pastor Jeff spent a good deal of time serving in the camp store, too. During one of the sessions, while the kids were hearing from Andy Stanley, Jeff told me about a fifteen-year-old student who came to his register. She wanted to purchase a Bible. She told Jeff that she had brought money to camp to buy a t-shirt, but she had lost her Bible while at camp, so she decided to buy a new Bible instead. The Bible and the t-shirt were each twenty dollars. She even showed Jeff the shirt she would have bought if she had not decided to buy the Bible.

Jeff has a big heart for students, and in that moment decided to tell her to go get the shirt she wanted to buy, that Big Stuf would take care of it for her. Jeff didn’t know if what he had done was right, but couldn’t help feeling in his heart it was. He was so moved by the fact that a teenaged girl would choose to purchase a Bible over a t-shirt she really wanted, he felt compelled to bless her.

Later that night, that girl’s youth leader came up to Jeff and told him that the girl’s parents- the one who bought the Bible and got the shirt- had both recently lost their jobs. They thanked Jeff for his kindness, and told him what a blessing he had been to her.

I am sure she won’t soon forget what Jeff did.

That was a totally neat camp moment, and a really cool God moment. But Jeff was paying attention. He was open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to really see the girl standing before him. He had no idea why he felt compelled to give this girl a shirt; rather he just listened and obeyed.

Not a bad lesson really. Sounds simple enough.

Listen and obey.

It’s not listen, ask a bunch of questions, hesitate, stammer, and then obey. I don’t think God minds questions really, but sometimes we just need to go right from listen to obey… we can know the whys later.

It’s the same with my children. I don’t always have the time or the inclination to go into all the reasons for why I need them to do something. I just need them to do it. I want them to trust me. So many times I tell them, ”Just do this, you’ll understand why later.”

As we walk more closely with God, we learn more and more that he is trustworthy. Think of someone you trust implicitly. You would trust this person with your life if necessary. In an emergency, you would do exactly what they told you to do, because you trust them. How much more, then, can we trust the Father? The one who has already given the life of his only son for us?

She was just one girl out of 3500 students, yet God knew her unfortunate situation. He brought her right to Pastor Jeff’s register. She could have come to mine instead- or to any of the other five registers in the store. I have to wonder if she had come to mine, would I have done what he did? Would I have listened? Would I have obeyed?
(Or would I have charged her five thousand dollars for a Bible?)

So what do you think?

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