Posted by: glorifyhim1 | February 12, 2014

Saying Yes

Saying Yes

I told myself that I wasn’t going to talk about Snickers, but ……..

Snickers quickly moved into our home and into our hearts.

Snickers quickly moved into our home and into our hearts.

To add to my less than spectacular start to this new year, this past Saturday I watched as my son and daughter-in-law drove away – not only with my precious grandson, but also with a furry, four-legged critter that had made her home with us for close to three years. I told myself that I wasn’t going to cry (at least not until they drove away), but they hadn’t even put on her leash before I was blubbering and sniveling like a two- or three-year-old. And that was just the beginning – I’ll spare you all the details as to how it went once they left!

But as a gentle calm finally began to settle over our house and everyone went on to bed but me, I thought about dear, sweet Snickers. When my son had first asked if I would be willing to keep her while they were working in Chile, I said yes, but felt no. Snickers was a big dog, but a young dog – a husky/lab mix that was active and full of life and energy. I was much more comfortable with an old dog sleeping beside the wood stove. I wasn’t sure about a big dog running, jumping, and bounding in and out of the house.

But Snickers quickly put all my fears to rest. I guess you could say that she adjusted to us and we adjusted to her. We grew together into a new normal and she quickly found her place, not only in our home, but also in our hearts. And, oh, how hard it was to watch her leave!

As I thought about all of this, it occurred to me that sometimes the very things we are most reluctant to do, can oftentimes be among our sweetest blessings. I loved Snickers even then, but was worried that I wasn’t up to the task. And don’t we often react the same way with spiritual things as well? If I have doubts or fears, it is easier to just say no. But when I do, I tend to forget one very important thing. Paul reminded the Corinthians of this fact: “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20).

I was bought by the death of Jesus Christ. He paid with His very life to redeem me. I am no longer my own (see 1 Corinthians 6:19). While Paul was addressing the sexual sins of the Corinthians, the truth of this verse applies to all believers and how we choose to live our lives. Paul told the Ephesians: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). God created each one of us with differing gifts and abilities and He calls us to use them to honor and glorify Him so that others can know Him, too. Sometimes we may not be sure about the things He asks us to do – and our first inclination may be to just say no. But, ultimately, it’s not our decision – for we are no longer our own. We have been bought with a price. When faced with questions and decisions, we need to take them directly to the One who made us and bought us.

You see, we don’t know what God knows.

God knows…..

….. what He has planned for us to do

  • “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

….. our fears

  • “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you,
    Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand”
    (Isaiah 40:10).

….. our doubts

  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
    In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths”
    (Proverbs 3:5-6).

….. our worries

  • “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

….. our selfishness and pride

  • “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

God knows who He created each one of us to be, what He created us to do, yet He also knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our fears, our doubts, and our worries. He knows where we are weak and all our inner battles and struggles. He knows all these things about us, yet as the verses above declare He promises to be with us, help us, strengthen and uphold us. He assures us that He will direct us, that He will guard our hearts and minds. And through all of this not only does He use whatever gifts or abilities that we surrender to Him to bless others and help them know Him better, He blesses us as well with more of Himself.

I’m glad I said yes to my son about keeping Snickers. Surely, it is hard now. She quickly comes to mind when I see the stray cats that she would bark at mercilessly, the squirrels that she chased constantly, and the neighbors’ dogs where they held regular meetings with Snickers at the corner of the backyard fence. And our walk on Sunday afternoon was a little bittersweet as I was reminded of how she had grown so familiar to our Sunday routine that she would whine and beg after lunch until we grabbed her leash and took her for a walk. Yet thinking of her and all the things we came to love about her still blesses me.

How much greater the blessing when I say yes to God! It may not always be easy, but how special it is to be used by Him, as He sees fit. And as I seek Him, surrender to Him, and walk with Him, He reveals more and more of Himself to me. And that is the greatest blessing of all – to know Him! “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:7-8).   May we all say yes!

 

 

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