A series of yesses

I was only four at the time. And I said yes. Yes, I believed in Jesus and needed Him to forgive me of my sins. Whatever "asking Jesus into your heart" means to a four year old, I wanted to.

Though I was only four, I understood that I had a choice and I made the choice. For the whole year that followed, I said yes to him each night. Afraid that Jesus might leave in the night, I asked him again, and again, and again. She discovered me one night, kneeling by my bed, praying aloud. Mom quickly assured me that Jesus was with me forever and I never needed to fear again that He would leave. Mom would continue to be that voice through the years, reminding me that the Lord was still here. Faithful. Present. Close to me.

Those early memories came to me again the other day. Funny how they do. My youngest son asked me a question, one of those innocent questions that are so perfect. One of those questions that sit funny in the heart. That reminds me of the little questions that remain deep down. Why do we have so many friends that are hurting, Mommy? We were listing off the friends we needed to pray for. Seems every where we turn, each day there's at least one new email requesting prayer. Urgent prayer. I know He is still here. I know He sees each tear and hears each cry. He is not far away. But it's so hard when it hurts.

I got to thinking about my life. A life made up of small decisions to say yes to the Lord. Small yesses in my childhood, to obey, to confess, to follow the Lord, to surrender my future. A yes after college to a year in China. Yes to seminary instead of following my dream to attend an elite grad school and pursue what I thought my heart wanted. A big yes to a man who wanted to serve the Lord overseas. A yes to giving up life as I knew it to going back overseas with a baby. The yesses go on. Some were small. Some were big. These days it seems life is made up with a lot of small daily yesses.

Reading Matthew 3 this morning I was struck by John the Baptist's response to Jesus' request for baptism. Me? Not me! I'm not worthy to even untie your sandal! Jesus' words settled it. But Jesus insisted. "Do it. God's work, putting things right all these centuries, is coming together right now in this baptism." So John did it. (The Message)

John said yes. He didn't see the whole picture. He just did as Christ told him to.  Temporarily ahead of him was pain and suffering,  but ahead of him lay Glory.

Lord, may the yesses continue. May that be the choice until the end, when I see You face to face. Yes. In the face of pain, Yes. When you ask for more, when you nudge in the depths of my heart and you ask for greater surrender, Yes. Asking for grace, Lord.

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