You have peculiarities. I have peculiarities. One of my peculiarities is how to load a dishwasher. Silly, I know. But still: I prefer all sharp utensils be pointed downward. Reaching into a dishwasher, I was stabbed once by an unseen fork pointing upward. In my mind the only right way is pointing downward. Of course that’s not true – there is no right way. Just preferences based on peculiarities.
When someone at my house generously serves me by loading the dishwasher after dinner (I hate to admit this in public) it irks me when I open the dishwasher later and it looks like Edward Scissorhands threw a party. I have gotten comfortable asking my friends to put the sharp things point-down when they load the dishwasher. Sometimes they do, sometimes not. Nevertheless, we have endured all kinds of trials and tribulations, so our friendship endures. 🙂
Today I opened the dishwasher and all the sharp things were point-down. And I smiled. Not because it was a safe zone but because someone remembered my request and honored it. In that act of remembrance, I felt honored. I guess we all have moments like that.
I was struck by how this is an example of how God asks us to respond to Him and His preferences. Well, His commandments, really. Does God feels honored when we remember and honor (obey) His word? I believe He does. It is an expression of our love and respect for Him.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15
Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. John 14:23
“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” John 15:10
“You are My friends if you do what I command you.” John 15:14
By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 1 John 2:3
but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. 1 John 2:5
God’s commandments exist for many reasons, just a few of which are to keep us safe, to keep us safe around others, and to show love and honor and respect to each other. After all, forks aren’t the only things that can wound us.
But most important, His commandments give us an opportunity to respond to God out of our love for Him, and we can have a personal relationship with Him and know what it means to have abundant life. Jesus wants us to have joy. He explained this spiritual truth in John 15:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:1-11