Enjoying the Blessings of Someone Else’s Obedience

One of the themes in my life over the past few years is accepting and learning to live with consequence of other peoples’ sin that adversely affects me. The most obvious case in point is Joel’s crime with its painful, unrelenting, and often unmitigated consequences for the boys and me. Perhaps this is the primary reason I have found myself at the foot of the cross begging Jesus for the grace to receive others’ consequences and accept their impact in my life in His strength. But there are a thousand ways each of us deals with this very same truth in “lesser arenas”. Sometimes my child’s bad attitude and need for corrective time at home, robs me of the chance to go out with friends. Or the careless driver who runs a red light and slams into the side of me, robs me of a car without blemish or even my health.  We live in a fallen world; our sinful choices affect other people, and other peoples’ sinful choices undeniably affect us.

Recently though, God has given me precious insight into the flip side of the consequence coin.  By others’ obedience I often receive unmitigated, unrelenting, and undeserved blessing! Oh, how easily I see the negative impact on my life from other people’s sin, and how rarely I stop to thank God for the amazing benefits in my life that are a result of others’ obedience.

One of the primary examples of this in my own life, is the precious obedience of my mother to the call and direction of God in her life. Last week end for Mother’s Day I sent her a card, thanking her for being the kind of mother that I can model my parenting after. Sharing that card with her was a strong reminder from God in my life, that I live the blessings of her pursuit of God. 35 years ago when my parents were headed overseas for the first time as missionaries, many people questioned their sanity at taking two young girls to the edge of creation. My mother, understandably was fearful. But she laid her fear before the Lord, and chose to obey His call and direction. My childhood was nearly storybook in quality. But beyond the delights of that childhood, I live today with the blessing of a mother who has modeled for me, what surrender in the furnace looks like. My obedience to God is a mirror of what I’ve seen in her life.

We may live the consequences of others’ sins in a myriad of ways in this life. But the blessings of others’ obedience redeems even that suffering. For Christ is the ultimate and most stunning example of a life of obedience that pours blessing into our lives, unmitigated, unrelenting, and undeserved!


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