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Learning Obedience - A Humorous Illustrative Story

Anonymous Anecdote with Comments by Harrietta Turner

David received a parrot for his birthday. This parrot was fully grown with a bad attitude and worse vocabulary. Every other word was an expletive. Those that weren't expletives were, to say the least, rude.

David tried hard to change the bird's attitude and was constantly saying polite words, playing soft music, anything he could think of to try and set a good example. Nothing worked. He yelled at the bird and the bird got worse. He shook the bird and the bird got more angry and more rude.

Finally, in a moment of desperation, David put the parrot in the freezer. For a few moments he heard the bird squawking and kicking and screaming - then suddenly there was quiet. David was frightened that he might have actually hurt the bird and quickly opened the freezer door.

The parrot calmly stepped out onto David's extended arm and said: 'I'm sorry that I might have offended you with my language and actions and ask for your forgiveness. I will endeavor to correct my behavior.' David was astounded at the bird's change in attitude and was about to ask what had made such a drastic change when the parrot said:



Can we not see quite a few parallels here to our relationship with our Lord? Ordinarily when He gets us, we are full-grown with bad habits which are deeply ingrained. Through His Word we see the example He lovingly set before us when He lived upon this earth. It shows us how to think and live. And He personally starts to train us gently by His Spirit. But if we do not (and we seldom do) respond appropriately and allow His character to become ours (Hebrews 12:10b ...that we might be partakers of His holiness) then as a faithful Father He has to discipline us.

(Hebrews 12:11-14) 'For no chastening (training) for the present is pleasant.' Literally: 'Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby - wherefore lift up the hands which hang down and the feeble knees and make straight paths for your feet lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.'

The parrot did not readily respond to reasonable chastening. He had no fear of his owner. He finally learned the seriousness of the consequences of continued rebellious behavior when he felt the icy chill of the freezer and spotted the defeathered, dead, frozen chicken there. That could be called the shock treatment. And often isn't that what it takes before WE begin to accept the chastening of the Lord and become partakers of His holiness?

In my case, many years ago, I actually did have shock treatments in a mental institution. This was at a time in my life before I was willing to serve the Lord Since then I have walked the straight and narrow, listening to Him and obeying Him. I have also learned that God is love. This is the side of Him that we can not see while we are living in rebellion. However, sadly I did see quite a few 'dead chickens' in that place which my rebellion caused me to be placed and I realized that I could end up that way. I came out of my freezer with a polite and obedient attitude.

Sometimes I get complimented now for my obedience and service to my Lord but I can't really take credit for that. He knew what it took to bring me to that point. He had to put me in my particular freezer. And He knows what it will take with each of us. But it is a sign that we are His beloved children -( what a privilege) - for Him to persist with our training until He sees His likeness.

Fortunately for us He does not give up on the first try. However, we would be wise not to wait that long, as the freezer is not a pleasant place. We would do well to fear the Lord before He has to take such drastic actions as His Word admonishes in Hebrews 12:28-29 'Wherefore we, receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear for our God is a consuming fire.' He also uses great wisdom and does not leave us in our freezer a minute longer than necessary to achieve the desired results. He truly is a great and good God - worthy of our obedience and praise!!

He prefers to manifest Himself to us as a God of love, I John 4:16, but if we make it necessary, He will manifest Himself to us as a consuming fire ...and we might get 'freezer burn!' + HHT



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