Yes Often Starts With No
by Christine Wagoner
What takes me from the no to the yes? In short, the answer is Jesus. It’s a very simple Sunday school answer, but it’s the truthful one. Gravity pulls me toward comfort. Often my gut reaction is to stick with the first layers of reasoning to say no to all of these things. It’s easier. It’s safe. It takes less time and allows me to retain control over a portion of my life. Many of these opportunities placed me in unfamiliar situations and messed with my plans—plans I had for my time, my resources, and even my future.
Where does gravity pull you? Perhaps saying yes conjures up a level of anxiety as you think about the energy it will require and how it will disrupt your routine. Nervousness may bubble up around the thought of whom you may have to say yes with and work alongside. Maybe finding a yes is steeped in obligation. Guilt drives your yes, along with the familiar phrase, “I should say yes.” Perhaps freedom to simply be open to either yes or no with no expectations would be a stretching invitation for you.
When faced with these risky invitations, fear can take over. But when I’m open to Jesus meddling in my life, then the journey begins. This holy and sacred ground is where I turn my clenched fists into open palms. I start to release my grip on my life, trust Jesus with my fears in all their various forms, and believe that he has my highest and greatest good in mind. I choose to believe that he is doing something in my life that is purposeful and meaningful, and he wants me to join him in expanding his kingdom here on earth. I trust in the fact that Jesus knows me better than I know myself. If he is asking me to say yes to something, he must think I can do it, with his power moving through me. In following Jesus, he asks me to surrender to his plans and ultimately his love and leadership. This path from no to yes isn’t easy, but it is transformative and can bring joy. It’s not just for me; it’s for you too.