Several months ago my husband and I found out about a stray dog that was hit by a car. Jake (I named him that) ended up having to have his front left leg amputated. With a fractured pelvis and a fractured hind leg it took months for him to heal. As Jake’s primary caregiver the long-drawn-out healing process gave me plenty of time to grow very attached. I asked my husband several times if he would consider keeping him. Let’s just say he never once gave me any reason to be hopeful. At one point he became so obviously agitated that I figured it best to back off. It was time to pray. Proverbs 21:1 says that, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.” If this dog was meant to be mine then God had power to communicate it to him.
In an act of faith I took aggressive steps to find Jake a loving home, all the meanwhile hoping God would move on my husband’s heart. I found out about an adoption event at the animal shelter. I knew that if I took Jake he would get adopted. He was a sweet, affectionate, well-behaved (albeit hyper) dog that would win anyone’s heart over – that is, except for my husband’s.
The Saturday of the adoption event I attended my women’s Bible Study in the morning. Providentially we had a nice solid teaching on ‘submission’. When I got home I set my face like flint and called for a taxi. Although I couldn’t understand why after all this time God allowed my husband’s heart to remain so closed, and mine so open, I asked Jesus to just help me surrender Jake to God. I couldn’t stop crying in the backseat with Jake in my lap. I prayed that God would give me grace to do this with some measure of composure. The last thing I wanted was t0 be surrounded by “animal people” who in my view, can get a little weird, in such a weakened state. My heart was so heavy over the thought of having to hand him over to someone else. The closer we got to the shelter the harder I cried. About 2 blocks away from the shelter my husband called. “Babe, tell the driver to turn around. You can keep the dog and I’m gonna love him too.” I screamed with joy and told the driver to turn around. I told my taxi driver why my tears of sadness had just turned to tears of joy. He started to cry too. I told him about Jesus and why God’s way was always best. (Remember him in your prayers please. I don’t know his name now but God does.)
One of the unsung heroes in the Bible is Abraham’s wife, Sarah. If Abraham is considered the ‘Father of our Faith’ then Sarah is our Mother. I Peter 3:6 tells us that when Sarah called her husband ‘Master’ she was not bowing to Abraham in the literal sense. Sarah was making a choice for God. Sarah had been through a lot. She also was responsible for her share of mistakes too. But, her submission was a statement: “God, you’ve given us a promise and I don’t see how it can ever be carried out. There is nothing in Abraham and there is nothing in me, but I’m getting in line with your order. My hope is in you and by your grace I will not give way to fear.”
True biblical submission is nothing to be afraid of. It is motivated by faith in God. It isn’t about legalism or authoritarianism. Submission is about getting in line with God’s order so that God’s will is done. If you are in a situation today that calls for you to submit, don’t be afraid. Do it God’s way. It’s good, right, and it always works!