“Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet…Matthew 21:1-4
Who wants to be the disciple that gets the donkey that Jesus will ride on into Jerusalem while the crowds shout “Hosanna in the highest!” I emphatically raise my hand…Me, me, me, pick me! What an opportunity! Helping Jesus fulfill God’s plan…cool.
Funny thing is, I have opportunities possibly every day to fulfill God’s plan. How many times has God asked me to love someone, give something, or go somewhere? What I don’t see in the text is the disciples asking a bunch of questions. They were given the command with specific instructions and they did it. I think obedience to God is a lot easier when a few things are in order. (1) Trust in the Savior. The disciples have walked with Jesus for a time. They trust Him and can respond when He gives a command. The longer I walk with the Lord, the easier it becomes to trust Him. (2) Knowledge of the Word. They knew the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9 that says that the King will “come gentle and riding on a donkey.” Study of the Bible helps me to obey because it makes sense in my mind. It is familiar and I have knowledge of the character of God. (3) Like-minded friends. Jesus sent two disciples to get the donkey. When I have people around me that believe what I believe and respond as I respond, it is much easier to be obedient to God.
I can specifically remember a moment with the Lord when James and I were separated and I was exasperated. I had just finished leading worship in elementary chapel and God asked me to “go get a donkey.” After leading these precious children in worship, watching their faces sing love songs to Jesus, my heart was overwhelmed. After the children left, I sat in the room with lights dimmed, and I just wept. Lord, I can’t do it anymore. Please don’t make me do it anymore. Then the Lord spoke to my heart, STAND. I stood to my feet, with my head bowed down and He told me, I want you to stand. I knew exactly what He was telling me. He was telling me to “go get the donkey.” Here was my chance, to be obedient. He had a big plan for James and I and it was more than restoring our marriage. He told me to stand, physically but not just physically, emotionally and spiritually. He wanted me to stand in my marriage and not divorce.
The day after James left the first time, I asked God to give me a scripture. I opened my Bible and my eyes fell on Isaiah 56:1, “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon by revealed.” Maintain justice and do what it right…do what is right…do what is right. But God, what is right? I would repeatedly ask that question of the Lord. He answered it that day after worship with those pure hearted children, STAND. So, I did. I refused to divorce him. I refused to see a lawyer or even utter the threat after that day. God was faithful, we never divorced.
It was the second part of the verse that I didn’t notice at the time. It would be six months after James’ death that I would focus in on it. “For my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.” There it is, the prophecy for me, the prophecy for James. God knew all along that James was going to die young. He wanted me to stand in my marriage, to not divorce, to pray and pray and pray and pray, because God wanted to ride into Jerusalem and let the people cry “Hosanna in the Highest, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! “ God was asking me to get the donkey by standing in my marriage because He wanted to fulfill the prophecy, His plan to save James, restore our family and let His glory shine. I am so glad I trusted my Savior, knew His Word, and had many believers to encourage me on that journey. Not sure I would’ve been obedient had I not.