Listen, I know you may see me and think, “Joe smiles a lot. His life must be pretty easy, pretty happy-go-lucky for him to be so happy all the time.”
- Jesus is a never-ending Source of blessing.
- My wife and children are a great joy.
- I love what I get to do for a living.
But I assure you that there is more to this story.
Please do not mistake my deep joy for happiness.
Kelcy and I have been through quite a bit of pain throughout the process of saying “yes” to God.
I’ll save you the sob story. But just take my word that there have been painful periods that left us on the ropes, dodging punches and trying desperately to stay on our feet. And there have been times when life laid me so low I literally could not get myself off the floor. We’ve walked through seasons where it seemed as though God had forgotten about us, and we’ve lived to see the other side of those seasons.
The daily and weekly ordeal of laying our will down to His does not get easier as life goes on.
The stakes of following Jesus become higher and higher as the years progress. The level of trust required to say the next “yes” grows instead of diminishes. Over and over, writing Him the “blank check”, saying, “whatever, wherever, whenever” has and continues to come at a high cost to us in many ways.
Throughout whole seasons of my life I have questioned God’s plan and direction for my life.
But every once in a while He gives me a glimpse of how He is weaving a tapestry of testimony all through my life. My God, my Father in Heaven, who called me into relationship with Him through His Son Jesus, is crafting a good work in and through my life.
Do you know what the coolest part is?
- Those years of my life that I battled a crippling sense of defeat and failure…
- The days when I was literally digging ditches for the Lord…
- All the times I thought God’s plan for my life had been derailed…
- When I was convinced that He was done using my life for the sake of the Gospel…
Those dark times, when I could barely make my mouth say, “yes, Lord”, those are the times that God was forming me. And come to find out, those are the same times God has used, is using, and will use to shape the future of my continued, “yeses”.
Friend, can I convince you to do one thing today?
No matter what, say, “Yes” to Him.
No matter what darkness or uncertainty you are facing, make your mouth form the word, “yes” to the Lord.
Then take the next step He has revealed to you.
- Are you disconnected from God? Say the “big yes” by inviting Jesus into your heart.
- Is your life out of order? Do you need to get rid of something? Do it. Say “yes to holiness.”
- Did you get off track with God? It’s time to step back in. Say, “yes” to Him again.
- Do you have hurts that are keeping you away from church? God is bigger than those. Come back.
The “yeses” that are said in the midst of pain weigh more than those said on sunny days.
Say that next “yes”.
Joy, deep and lasting joy, comes on the other side, sometimes a long time after.