“Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us? Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8
Over two decades ago, my husband and I put our “Yes” on the table. We have been praying and thinking a lot about this lately – is our “yes” still on the table?
As a teenager, I thrilled to the words of Isaiah’s response to God’s inquiry. “Here am I. Send me!” Sitting around a campfire with other teens, challenged about our life direction, and singing “I Surrender All“…I first put my all-in “yes” on the table. At 15, tears of joyful release washing down my cheeks, it seemed the only response possible to a God who loved me so much. Today, “all” seems different, more complicated. Or is it my heart that’s changed?
We’re revisiting our “yes”. All I can think of is Jesus’ response to His Father’s will. Hours before He would give His life for us on a cross, He wrestled with the meaning of that “yes”. Jesus, this One who was from before the beginning, part of the Triune God, sinless, and perfect, poured out His human heart to His Father:
He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” – Luke 22:41-42
In that moment, He revealed two huge truths to us who follow Him. 1) No matter what God’s will is, (fill in your own blanks here), He is worthy of following. How glorious to spend our lives in His redemptive will – so much larger and full of love and purpose than we might, on our own, choose for ourselves.
2) Because of how big God is and how small we feel in our human frames, there will be times we bend toward a different road, a cleaner path, with plenty of shade (Jonah 4:5-6). Jesus is kind to show us that struggle…yet without sinning in it.
This “yes” on the table has also been described as giving God a blank check. Essentially telling Him we acknowledge His Lordship in our lives. There are some reading this who may chafe at that. He has given us minds to make thoughtful, impactful decisions. For me, the idea of signing my name to a “blank check” and giving the checkbook back to Him is a test of my heart, and the affections and motivations of that heart.
I love how Simon Peter responded to Jesus during a point in their journey when others left them, having second thoughts:
So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. “We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” – John 6:67-69
“Lord, to whom shall we go?” – There is no other life I want apart from knowing and following the God who pursued me through Jesus . No. Other. Life.
Still, we revisit our “yes”, our “blank check” when God confronts us with a possible course change – a turn in the road that could take us away (again) from family and friends we cherish, colleagues we choose, and work we have loved.
We have been in this place before…and we receive it again. I may be at this desk in this place, clicking keys a year from now…or more. Or we may be in a very different place. Wherever we are, there is grace for us (and for you), and glory for God…and all will be well.
Today, again, with trembling hands and resolute hearts, we lay the “yes” on the table. Whatever, wherever, God, we are trusting You, as we’ve trusted You before (even just minutes before this) to do what only You can do with our lives when they are wholly Yours. With wet-palmed excitement, deep joy…and peace…our “yes” is Yours.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. – Philippians 1:6
[P.S. There will still be times that peace is shaken…it could be today…but I know from God’s Word, an old hymn, and experience that perfect peace can be ours as we keep our hearts fixed on Him. Fixed.]
Remembering 9/11 – and the Day Before – A Story of God and a Girl – a girl whose “Yes” was always on the table, a life gloriously lived.