Friends, I’m recovering from and processing over my last couple of days in Kenya. God is showing me things and He’s reminding me why I said yes. My friend Janel, sent me this guest post. It’s what I needed to ready today and I hope it’s for you, too.
Has it been one of those days/weeks/months? Years?
Y’know. Maybe you’re the family that’s chosen some serious sacrifices. I’m thinking those of you who are saying no to a lot of stuff that doesn’t last—all for the One Thing that does.
The great bummer: It doesn’t always mean you’re waking up in a bed of violets. Maybe it feels more like, um, weeds. Poky, stinging ones. And some really invasive rocks.
A friend of mine thoughtfully penned this on my Facebook page awhile back.
[My husband] and I have wrestled with our “calling” to adopt years ago. We clearly felt it, and we have second guessed it almost every day since then, wondering what were we thinking? Did God really call us to this or were we just emotionally carried away, or as [this post] put it, is it an act of worship? I think in my naïveté, I assume that if I obey what I think God is clearly placing on my heart, he will “reward” me somehow with happiness and not trouble. My very wise husband points out that this is very bad theology!
I’ve written before about my temptation to think that if I’m trusting God, leaning not on my own understanding, praying for wisdom, and all that excellent jazz—somehow I will be shielded from failure. And of course there’s a chunk o’ truth in there. Walking in God’s ways unquestionably shields me—us—from so much error, heartache, and, well, stupidity.
But even if you’ve made the right decision—it’s hard not to second-guess when there’s exquisite pain involved.
Of course avoiding wrong and following the Holy Spirit is a little like Aslan pushing forward spring wherever he goes: Things come alive when God is in them. Yet perhaps I’m forgetting that Jesus, my forerunner, walked straight into God’s will—and straight into death.
A friend mused to me once that he didn’t think God was “having favor” on him because, after he made a courageous decision, so many things were floundering and deflating around him. God must not be in this.
But here’s what I know; what I’ve been chewing on this week, around Mary’s story—Jesus’ mom. I’m told that the Greek meaning of her words in Luke 1:38–let it be to me according to your word—is actually the equivalent of a “Heck, yes!” (Can I say “heck” on Kristen’s blog? We’ll see.)
See, Mary is all in.
Back up a bit in the story, and that word—favored—that describes her? It comes from the word charis, or grace. She’s graced. She’s got God’s grace all over her.
But thumb a few pages to your right—and this “blessed”, “favored” woman feels these ominous, all-too-true words falling around her: And a sword will pierce your own soul, too.
Graced. Blessed. Pierced.
Sounds like another guy she got to know.
And nine months later, her big yes to God means giving birth in a barn, likely rejected and shamed by her community.
I guess I just wanted to let you know that in your family’s “yes” to God, you’re in good company. And that God’s grace, His overwhelming love, may sometimes look like being pierced right in your soul.
If this is you, I want to remind you that God’s favor may not be the Facebook equivalent of #blessed. It may mean God’s grace is all over you right now, and you’re swimming in it, even as your own tears fall to your hands. Let us not grow weary in doing good, because in due time, we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9).
If this is you, I’m praying for you right now: That He’ll lift your head a bit, even if it’s only to let it fall upon His great chest.
Your “yes” matters to God.
(*…Who Are Battling Some Hard No’s)