Grow Up

By Julie Opperman

       The goal is to grow, to mature, but sometimes we only think we’re mature. In reality, we miss out on the blessings of just simply being obedient. Childlike faith and “obedience will not always be easy, but it will always be worth it. Obedience to God always brings reward”. (Priscilla Shirer, He speaks to Me, p.11)

       We started a new Bible Study recently by Priscilla Shirer.  It’s one of her earlier studies and as the first video played, I felt a little let down. It seemed too simple, not “deep” enough for the ladies who meet weekly. I started my first day of homework a few days late, because I didn’t feel eager to jump in.  The first lesson was about obedience.  “Yes, yes everyone knows that, the obedience of a child.”

       Just an hour after I read how obedience doesn’t always come easily, I went to the movie with some friends. I hadn’t had a girl’s night out in a very long time. I was excited when they passed out our tickets to see that I would get to sit next to my friend and neighbor.

As we made our way to our seats, I noticed a couple sitting and talking. The gentleman got up from his seat and walked to the back of the theater. Our group filled that entire row except for one seat. The seat the gentleman had left was not his seat at all … it was mine.

“Excuse me, Ma’am, was that your husband?” I asked, but I already knew the answer.

       Here it was, my moment to be obedient.  My husband and I have the privilege of leading our marriage ministry team at our church. We teach classes on marriage and talk about the importance of spending time with your spouse.

Did I believe what we taught?

I walked past my friends and followed the gentleman to the back of the theater.

      “Excuse me, Sir, would you trade seats with me so you can sit with your wife?” I asked.

      “Are you sure?”

Was I? I came to be with my friends, but the words of the study came to mind, “Obedience can require sacrifice.”

 “Yes, it’s more important for you to spend time with your wife than it is for me to sit with friends.”

That was it; we switched seats. There wasn’t any grand fanfare. It was a small gesture, but I knew it was a decision to be obedient in that moment.

       Four days later my family was on our way to volunteer at a school event.  We drove through Starbuck’s and ordered three drinks. When we got to the window I heard the manager say, “Give them their card back, this is on me.”

My husband thanked him and said it wasn’t necessary. Then the manager leaned down and looked directly at me as I sat in the passenger seat and said, “I saw what you did at the movies.”

      “What did you say?” I asked dumbfounded. He repeated it, “I saw you.” We thanked him and drove away.

I was almost in tears. I never saw anyone else in that moment at the theater, just the gentleman and his wife. I couldn’t tell you where anyone else was, how he saw me, or why something that seemed so insignificant had caught his attention. The free drinks were great, but the real treat that morning was in knowing that it wasn’t just the manager who saw me, God saw me.

       I’m excited to see how God is going to use the simple things in my life to dumbfound me. May I never feel too mature or too grown up to have the faith and obedience of a child.

Devoted wife, mother, Christian Leader and Teacher, Julie serves as a Lay Marriage Minister at LifeSpring Church in Bellevue, Nebraska, has a BS in Elementary Education with a Specialization in Early Childhood Development, a former public school teacher and homeschool educator, an Active Duty Army spouse for 20 year and recipient of; The Honorable Order of Ann Morrow Lindbergh, The Honorable Order of Our Lady of Loreto, Presidential Service Awards Gold, Silver, and Bronze, and three Commander’s Awards.