But If You Say So | When Obedience is Hard


when obedience is hard

What to do when obedience is hard:


I’m sure there was a lot of doubt streaming through Peter’s mind When Jesus asked him to let down his nets after a hard night of fishing without results. Even so, Peter said “But if you say so.” I’ve read this passage of scripture so many times and each time it causes me to wonder why. Why did Peter respond that way? He was a master fisherman?! He knew this trade better than anyone..especially Jesus, because Jesus was only a carpenter. Peter hadn’t yet seen the miracles that Jesus would perform. So, the question begs.. why? Why did Peter respond in that way? It’s a mystery to me- and that annoys me because I like details.

I’m a details type girl.  I wanna know them.

Details. Just give me the details.

Why Peter….why did you respond that way??? I want to know.

But maybe that was left out of the story on purpose. Because it doesn’t matter. The point is he answered, “but if you say so,” and that’s that. End of story. (not literally)  The fact is, Peter’s response is a great example for all of us. Sometimes obeying God just seems unreasonable.

There have been many, many times when Jesus has asked me to do something that just seemed unreasonable. And if I’m being honest- sometimes I have obeyed and there are times when I have not.

But let me tell you about a time when I obeyed.

It was Sunday, and we were eating lunch at a small local restaurant. In the booth beside us there was an older woman. I would say she was in her 60’s. She was alone. When I saw her, I was filled with compassion. I wondered about her. Was she a widow? Maybe she and her husband came here every Sunday, and now that he’s gone, she comes alone. Does she have children? Do they live far away? The questions about her filled my thoughts. I knew what Jesus was telling me to do. It felt weird and even a little shady because I had no idea who she was or how she would respond. He told me exactly what to do. Go to her, sit down beside her and put your hands on top of hers and tell her that I love her.

I got up without saying a word to my family. I walked over to her table and placed my hands directly over hers, just as He had told me to do.

“I just wanted to tell you that Jesus loves you.”

While I said these words tears started streaming down my face. My voice was shaky.

“He loves you. He sees you, He knows all about you and you’re not alone.”  

As tears flooded her eyes she said,  “thank you, thank you so very much.” I got up and went back to our table. My girls sat wide-eyed and John’s eyes were wet.

After that sweet lady finished eating and as she was leaving she stopped by our table.  She leaned over and said “thank you, thank you so much for your kind words. You’ll never what they meant to me.”

I don’t know why God asked me to go to her table that day. Maybe it was more for me than it was for her? I don’t know? Peter was privileged to automatically see the results of his obedience. Sadly it doesn’t always work that way for us. We don’t always see the fruits of our labor right away…and sometimes, we never see them at all.

Obedience is more about the act not the result. The moment we act it’s like a switch gets flipped on. Rick Warren says that when we obey, the Holy Spirit’s power is unlocked.

Obedience is more about the act, not the result. #butIfYouSaySo Click To Tweet

Sometimes I feel like we make obedience way to difficult. Yes, it can be hard, but sometimes it doesn’t have to be. Obedience isn’t always moving to Africa, or quitting your secular job to become a missionary. It’s not always about a complete life-style change. Sometimes obedience is simply going up to a stranger and sharing God’s love with them. Or maybe it’s simply sending someone a “thinking of you” text. Sometimes obedience is just in the every day. Every day obedience breeds faith and fullness in Christ. Everyday obedience. Ordinary obedience. Extraordinary moves of God begin with ordinary acts of obedience. That’ll preach my friends.

Extraordinary moves of God begin with ordinary acts of obedience.-Unknown #ButIfYouSaySo #liveFree Click To Tweet

Everyday obedience breeds faith and fullness in Christ.

So what do do when it’s hard? Peter gives us a perfect example.


Three little words. Simple.

Maybe not that simple.

Even still:

But if you say so…


So what do do when it's hard? Peter gives us a perfect example. JUST DO IT. Three little words. Simple. Maybe not that simple.

What is God asking you to do? Is it everyday obedience? Or Peter-sized  obedience? Regardless, what is he asking of you? And will you obey?

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  1. katie says:

    So good! Thank you for sharing!!!

  2. A no to myself.
    A yes to God.
    This is often the hard path to true freedom.

  3. Cindy Krall says:

    “Extraordinary moves of God begin with ordinary acts of obedience.” YES! I just love this. Appreciated your heart and words of wisdom Shannon! (Stopping over from #livefree today!(

  4. Dana Herndon says:

    “Extraordinary moves of God begin with ordinary acts of obedience.” Yes! Sometimes we feel our actions need to be big and bold to count, and that just isn’t true. It may just be our job to plant the seed.
    Great post! #livefreeThursday

  5. What a beautiful story Shannon! I hope that God will give me the courage to do that. My daughter and I were out to eat recently with my grandson. A lady across the way kept smiling and talking to him. When we got up to leave my daughter turned back to talk to her. She told us we made her day. It’s the little things that are the big things right.

    P.S. I’m feeling a little old – no I still feel 25, but reading about and older lady in her sixties and I’m 65 made me wonder now what others think. Comparing now.

  6. Shannon, what a beautiful picture of a small but huge act of obedience. Loved this piece and your heart to respond.

  7. Suzie Eller says:

    I love this, Shannon!

  8. Judy Ashmore says:

    The more I know about you, the more I know that you are my kind of Lady. Love you lots.

  9. bethany says:

    This quiets me in the best way. Will be pondering and asking this question. Thank you for the convicting but encouraging words. #Faith-FilledFriday

  10. Leigh Ellen says:

    This is beautiful! I love your thought into Peter and Jesus’ story of the nets. I am a details girl, too, so I totally get you! 😉 Thank you for sharing your heart today – you have certainly encourage mine – especially with this: “Extraordinary moves of God begin with ordinary acts of obedience.” I’m carrying that with me today! See you soon!

  11. Trisha rush says:

    This was so, so good. Thank you for such a practical look at obedience. I too, often over think it. I miss little opportunities to obey because I think they will present themselves as “Africa” when in fact, it’s so ordinary.

    • Shannon says:

      Yes Trisha! I love ordinary acts of obedience and they are just as important. Thank you so much for stopping by today!

  12. Pam says:

    Hi Shannon!
    The words that stood out in bold type to me as i was reading were: “Extraordinary moves of God begin with ordinary acts of obedience.” These will go on echoing in my mind and heart for a long time. Thanks so much! Happy to be your neighbor today at the Linkup at What Joy is Mine.

  13. Dawn says:


    I so enjoy your contributions to the #GraceMoments Link Up each week. Even though I am behind in responding to the links from the previous week, I am a firm believer that God orchestrates our days and our times for His purposes… our good and His glory. I needed to read your words today. Even thought they would have touched me deeply last week, today they speak to an unspoken prayer of my heart and I am grateful.
    Thank you for sharing this at Grace Moments when you did.

    • Shannon says:

      Dawn- thank you so much for stopping by!!! I’m so glad your were encouraged. God always has a way of speaking right to our hearts through others. I hope you have a great week! xoShannon

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