My kids started it... when they were young and they were trying to convince me to agree to something... they would urge me "Just say Yes mommy". I can still hear their young voices saying that to me. Who knew at the time that eventually I'd hear God's spirit urging me "Just say Yes"
But these days I hear it more and more. And I hear him reminding me that he loves me and who asks someone they love to do something bad? After all, would I ask my kids to do something that wasn't good for them or that I knew would turn out great? No, I wouldn't and neither will God.
Last fall, I found myself looking for an opportunity to serve him more. I had been asking him to show me where I could be used and was feeling a bit frustrated at not getting an answer. One weekend we were at the offices of our national Christian broadcasting station. They were celebrating a big anniversary as well as hosting an exhibit of the Jewish tabernacle. Great exhibit, by the way. Anyway , we were in the hallway waiting for our tour to continue when our guide pointed out that we were standing next to the prayer centre, where operators mann the prayer phone lines 24-7. As I stood there, I swore I heard a small voice in my head saying "that would be a good place for you to help me". What, no that couldn't be. After all, I'm the person who HATES talking on the phone. And I like praying in private, not in public. Besides, my prayers are more like conversations with God, not traditional 'pray for you' prayers. And remember that friend who once started their training and said how scary & HEAVY it was? How could that be where you want me to serve?? I'm pretty sure I heard that wrong.
So, I continued on the tour and went home, never saying anything to my husband of what I had felt. But there was that nudging that just wouldn't go away. That sense of unrest, of something hanging, waiting to be completed. I stood it for a couple of days, and could take it no longer. I gingerly told my husband I was thinking about maybe volunteering on the prayer phone lines. I was waiting for it - quite eagerly actually - for his response of disbelief, his assurances that this really didn't fit me and was I sure it was for me. where would I find the time?. Disappointingly, it never came. Instead I got, "Wow honey, that's great. You've wanted to get involved somewhere for a while now." Hmmm, what's with him??? I thought he had my back, does he want me to fail? Or was maybe God really nudging me in this direction. Could I have heard right?
Well, I'm happy to say that I tested the idea on a few more people, and stepped out in faith to say "YES" to God. I was able to do the training at home and scored perfect on each of the 10 segments except for one. Funny thing about that one - I think it was around segment 6 - I was feeling that God was being a bit smug about it all. See, not only can you do it but you're aceing it! So around chapter 6, even though I originally picked all the correct answers on that one too, somehow I talked myself into considering the question from a different angle that could - just possibly - if you looked at it from just this angle - make this other answer equally right. And so, for that segment I managed a 9 out of 10. See God, not entirely perfect ;-)
I now, one night a week after work, am blessed for a few hours to listen as people open up and share their lives, their struggles and their hopes with me. They give me the honor of sharing a prayer with them, sharing verses that God puts on my heart for them. It has been the most wonderful experience and God is always there to give me the words, the insight and the verses to share with the callers. I feel that he has equipped me perfectly for this role. The other thing that amazes me is how the directs the calls to the prayer partners. More times than not, I will hear a prayer partner on a call and think "Oh, not sure how I would have answered that one" and I listen to the person who got the call go on to relate in some special way to the callers need. God's presence in that room and with those phone calls is so evident that it takes my breath away and leaves me in amazement.
Think of all that I would have missed had I talked myself out of saying "Yes". Our Father is not going to ask us to do anything we aren't capable of doing, He prepares us and gives us the tools we need to do the task requested. Praise God!!