I have always had a love-hate relationship with authority and rules. I am deeply convicted that legitimate authority should be respected and that rules are often created to serve the common good, and thus ought to be given due consideration. And yet, in my inner-most being, I resent any power that stifles me. I crave freedom. I am deeply rebellious to anything that attempts to suppress me. I do not like to be told what not to do (or what to do either, for that matter).
So it is with much surprise that I recently realized that I’ve fallen in love… I’ve fallen in love with God’s LAW of all things! I find myself wanting to mold myself to God’s Word; I find myself desiring to let His instructions and guidance dictate how I live my life and spend my time. I find myself wanting God to rule over all my relationships. I never expected that it could happen like this – my wild heart has been tamed: I – the firebrand – am detecting docility and meekness in myself!
Oh don’t misunderstand me. The rebellious streak is still there. I still hate to be constricted and hemmed in. I still struggle and yell and protest and stamp my feet at God when I don’t like what’s happening in my life. But my heart seems to have found that God’s discipline opens the door to the very freedom it has always desired. It yearns for God’s instruction the way a young woman in love yearns for her beloved’s embrace.
Even as I write this, I feel in some way that I’ve gone stark raving mad. I honestly don’t recognize myself. But I am filled with awe at the power that has made me unrecognizable to myself. I can’t help but whisper in wonder and amazement, “Oh God… who ARE you? What have you done to me?”
Yet I know that everything is as it should be. After all, I am His – stupidly, madly, goofily, utterly, totally, and completely.
In the way of your instructions lies my joy, a joy beyond all wealth.
I will ponder your precepts and fix my gaze on your paths.
I find my delight in your will, I do not forget your words.
Your instructions are my delight, your wishes my counsellors.
Down in the dust I lie prostrate; true to your word revive me.
I tell you my ways and you answer me; teach me your wishes.
Show me the way of your precepts, that I may reflect on your wonders.
I am melting away for grief; true to your word, raise me up.
Keep me far from the way of deceit, grant me the grace of your Law.
I have chosen the way of constancy, I have moulded myself in your judgments.
I cling to your instructions, Yahweh, do not disappoint me.
I run the way of your commandments, for you have given me freedom of heart.
Teach me, Yahweh, the way of your will, and I will observe it.
Give me understanding and I will observe your Law, and keep it wholeheartedly.
Guide me in the way of your commandments, for my delight is here. – Psalm 119: 14-16; 24-35