A Prayer for Obedience, in Honor of Charles Stanley
By Meg Bucher
“Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.” – Psalm 27:14 NLT
It was the loudest I have ever screamed. Pain shot through my body, stole my breath and left me crumpled on the floor. It wasn’t the first time I’d fallen, but it was the first time I’d fallen like that. I heard an audible crack as my back smacked into the staircase and felt sure it was broken in half. Limping to the couch, struggling to breathe, all I could do was cry. Pathetic, painful, sorrowful cries. Cries for help, aching to breathe and hoping to stand again. My family encircled me as I gasped for air. I slowly stood, and gratefulness started to wash over me as all the limbs and functions of my body seemed to slowly return. Struggling through the rest of the day, severely sore and worried about internal damage, my feelings of gratefulness kept washing over me. Grateful to stand, walk, breathe, and move. Funny but not so funny, how a literal trip down the stairs caused the possible end of life to flash before me. I’m fine with meeting Jesus, anytime, but the pain of that moment is something I will never forget. Waiting for my breath to return took bravery and courage …all I could do was wait …patiently …on the Lord.
Charles Stanley is known for this piece of sage counsel: “Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.” Obedience takes courage. In my breathless moment of severe pain, I didn’t feel very courageous. But as the day went on, I remembered Who goes before me. God. The angel armies of heaven are on my side because He is for me. No wonder I survived the fall and walked away from what could have taken me out. Life happens in His time, not mine. Great leaders like Charles Stanley, as they pass on to heaven and leave their legacy for us to ponder, remind us of the courage it takes to be patient, and the bravery required to wait on the Lord. Obedience to God isn’t easy. I can’t even fathom Jesus’ obedience as He anticipated and endured the cross. It’s a daily choice to swim against the current of the world and the evil in it lurking in it. But the Lord is always greater. He can rescue us from any situation. We are safe in His arms. Pain will find us in this world like the morning I slammed into my staircase and tumbled the rest of the way down. Life will knock the breath out of us, but as we lay motionless, gasping for air, we can trust our lives to the Savior who has already won the victory over death. He removes the sting of fear from our lives. We are in His hands until He calls us home.
Looking back on that morning, I know God was there, protecting me. The layers of my faith allow me to see His hand in my life more clearly. The payoff of obedience isn’t a pain-free life, but the perspective we attain through it. It’s what great leaders like Charles Stanley point to …Jesus. We can look back on the moments of our lives and know God’s hand was there to keep our backs from completely cracking in half. All the layers of His love grown intentionally in our daily walk of faith flow through the moments we are too weak to get up. He’s there. He knows, sees, and rushes to our aid. Let’s pray for the faith to obey Him, no matter how hard it is or helpless we feel, trusting the layers of His love in our lives.
Though we are not all called to be great leaders like Charles Stanley on a public platform, we are called to minister as such in our daily lives, to the people we place in them. Help us to be faithful, obedient stewards of Your work and purpose in our lives, Lord. Though the world may not know us for the caliber of fame as the great leaders of faith You have selected, we hold that caliber of fame in Your eyes. All of us. Thank You for going before us and protecting us as we fall and tumble in this world. Whether by our hand or that of evil in the world, thank You for always being there for us with perfect love, care, compassion, and empathy. Bless our lives with the courage to obey You and leave the consequences to You. Remove all doubt, fear, worry, anxiety, and hesitation from our hearts, so we may follow You with abandon, God.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Photo Credit: ©CharlesStanley/SWNdesign
Meg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ. Join her on the journey as she launches her new site Joy Overflowing, or join her longstanding community at Sunny&80. She is also the author of “Friends with Everyone, Friendship within the Love of Christ,” “Surface, Unlocking the Gift of Sensitivity,” and “Glory Up, The Everyday Pursuit of Praise,” and “Home, Finding Our Identity in Christ.” She earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University, but stepped out of the business world to stay home and raise her two daughters …which led her to pursue her writing passion. A contributing writer for Salem Media since 2016, Meg is now thrilled to be a part of the editorial team. Always active in her community and the local church, Meg also leads Bible study and serves as a leader for teen girls.
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