Sunday, December 27, 2009

What Does It Mean To Say 'Yes' To God

Wow its been such a long time since I written on this blog. There has been so much going on inwardly and outwardly that some times it just takes time to process. To share prematurely is to release the treasure before the time is right. So recently I have been pondering what it means to say 'yes' to God. This thought has entered my mind through an Advent meditation I read on Mary. The author Kathleen Norris wrote:

Who is she, a peasant girl that an angel of God should appear before her? Who is she to bear the Savior God promised to Israel? Why should this great blessing and burden come into her humble life? Mary believes. For her question to the angel is not 'how will I know' but 'how can this be?' She has already accepted the truth of what the angel tells her. But Mary still has to assent to it, to answer 'yes'. And on that our salvation hinges. The answer depends on Mary and it depends on us.

The questions God asks us are always questions of being rather than knowing. And simply recognizing these moments, stopping for a moment because something or someone wants our attention can matter.....but it will be clear that we are being asked to say 'yes' or 'no' to embrace or ignore what God has set before us.

Like the ancient Israelites in the desert, we can long for the security of the world we know in Egypt. Slaves after all have the security of knowing their place in the world. Or like Mary, we can say 'yes' to the new, uncertain reality that promises true freedom. Say 'yes' to God will always mean more than we can possibly imagine, both for us and for others. Walls and stumbling blocks that seemed impossible crumble suddenly, as we let our fears go. Like Mary, we have no way of knowing any of this. We can ask for courage, however and trust that God has not led us into this new land only to abandon us there.

My spirit is arrested on so many levels when I read the words of this devotion. For my heart is prone to wander but God beckons me back showing me that when I say 'yes' to Him, He is opening up new vistas for me to see and doors to step through. As this year ends and a new year enfolds, I want to find myself always in that posture of willingness to say 'yes' to Christ for in doing so I am being led to a deeper faith, deeper trust, a deeper knowledge of His heart. Saying 'yes' will mean greater sacrifices, counting the cost, saying 'no' to what seems like other good choices which aren't the 'best' choices. Over the years, my desire has always been to live without regret and so saying 'yes' to God is to say 'yes' to new adventures, to walk through fears. It is truly a journey to greater freedom in Christ but is one that God calls us all to take individually. No one can do it for us but we do have the promise that when we say 'yes', God promises to go before us, to part the proverbial Red seas and Jordan rivers. Saying 'yes' may mean saying 'goodbye' to friendships that once fed our souls, to letting go and again allowing God to bring other sojourners and pilgrims who will join us in a journey of courage to a new land, the promised land that God has in store for us. Like Mary of old, I am reminded that her blessedness was born out of faith, a faith that choose to believe, that took God at His word and in so doing, lives were impacted for eternity. Oh Lord, quicken that kind of faith in me that you planted in Mary's heart so many centuries ago, that like her, each of us who chose to walk by faith and not by sight, may taste the blessedness she tasted and we may find favor in your eyes!