Because they are usually right.
And because they love me.
I prefer my grace to come sugar-coated, please. Nope, not from them. They demonstrate grace to me in all its wholesome glory—by laying bare the depth and ugliness of my self-deception, and offer a way out.
These days, the wisdom they give can be summed up with this:
Stop chasing after what I would like to do. Instead, learn to love what must be done.*This is hard stuff.
To stop wishing that my circumstances were different, or that people were different, or that I was different.
To love what must be done.
To love doing dishes. To love wiping up spilled milk for the third time today. To love repeating myself for the fifth time within the past five minutes. To love going to bed early. To love paying bills and filling out forms. To love holding my thoughts captive, and keeping my tongue hostage. To love being pregnant (yes, my mom actually said this. Isn't she awesome?).
Because I get to do these things for the ones I love. Because in serving them, I am worshiping the God who saved me and gave himself for me. He saves me still, from myself.
To love His will and His way. To see my duties as my delight. To not think of them as chores, but as summons from the King. To believe that his commands are not oppressive. Instead, they are his grace to me, that he would use these hands to help, these feet to run (or, more like waddle), these lips to teach and kiss, this body to bear life.
My allegiance and my affection is again called into question. What do I love? Whom do I worship?
To to love dying to self requires nothing short of a miracle. In my self-loving soul, to love God and others is like telling a larva in the cocoon to fly. This is where I fall into despair.
I am learning to pray as Augustine prayed centuries ago: "Command what you will, and grant what you command — Make me a butterfly, O my God!" For I am incapable of such metamorphosis on my own.
This transformation, however, is not the passive, unconscious kind of a larva in a cocoon. Rather, it requires striving of the most rigorous and desperate kind. It requires persuasion of the mind and a change of the will. It requires faith, through the hearing and careful consideration of the his Word. It requires divine intervention and enabling in order that I might love truly and rightly.
One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much.
The saints and martyrs throughout church history did not live merely for the one to two events where they marked history. Instead, God was molding them in ten thousand mundane, everyday ways to make them who they became.
Therefore, do not be downcast, my dear friend. Be persuaded by the truth and beauty of his Word. Be convinced that he is faithful to finish the work he has begun. Smell the blossoms, taste the nectar, desire the Garden.
Command what you will,
Grant what you command.
Teach me to love your narrow way.
Undo me in order that I might do what must be done.
Make me a butterfly.
*Goethe said it so well. This is a modification of his words that I first saw over at Gracelaced.