Last spring, a pastor from our church called one day to ask if I would be willing to make a meal once a week for a lady in town who was dying of cancer.
The first thought that popped into my head was this:
“Feed the orphans and widows.”
The next thoughts went along these lines:
How could I get the girls and a hot meal loaded up in the car, get over to the lady’s house, while getting our own supper ready and on the table by the time Ben got home from work at six?
Would she be okay with eating a gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free diet like the rest of us, or would I need to make two different meals on those days?
Had I already booked appointments for those days, and wouldn’t be around for bringing her a meal?
The list of details to figure out went on and on in my head, so finally, I told the lady on the phone that I would think about it, and call back once I figured out if this was something I could fit into our already busy schedule.
As soon as I hung up the phone, I called Ben to talk things out with him. I gave him all my reasons for why I didn’t think it was a great idea, but then I told him, “I still think I’m supposed to do it. God told me to feed the orphans and widows.”
And Ben, in all his wisdom, said to me, “You would have many reasons not to do it, but if God told you to, then you should. I don’t know how you’re going to make it work, but you should do it.”
I hung up the phone, and started praying. I really couldn’t see a way to make it fit into our schedule, but I prayed anyway.
And suddenly, the solution popped into my head. It would take a bit of planning, but it was completely possible. I knew it was what I was supposed to do.
I quickly called our pastor back to give her my answer, but she was out of the office, so I left a message.
The more I thought about the opportunity, the more excited I became. It was as though God was filling my heart with joy for this small way in which I could bless this woman during the short time she had left on earth.
When our pastor returned my call the next day, I was eager to tell her I was ready to commit to helping out, but she surprised me by saying, “Don’t worry about it! I found someone else to do it! I understand that you’re busy, so thanks for being willing to consider it!”
I hung up the phone, and I felt awful. There was a very keen awareness that I had missed out on an opportunity God had plunked down right in front of me.
The woman would still have food to eat.
I could continue on with my busy life.
But I would miss out on the chance to live in obedience to what God had asked me to do.
That made me sad. I missed the blessing.
The lady died two weeks later. It would only have taken two meals for me to care for her in this way.
I had thought I needed to know exactly how I was going to obey God before I said “yes”, but really, all I needed to know was that He was asking me to do it.
I decided that the next chance I got, I would say yes even before I knew how to make it all work.
Well, wouldn’t you know, I got my chance….
Ben is in charge of finding Sunday School teachers for the adult classes at our church, and one day a few weeks ago, I happened to notice an email he’d received about needing a leader for the prayer class our church is offering this year. As soon as I saw the email, something inside me said, “Lead it!”
And I thought, “No way!”
A few days later, I was sitting in the prophecy class I’m attending with a friend this fall, and suddenly the thought popped into my head: “Lead the prayer class at church!”
And I thought, “Oh boy, I guess this is my chance to obey.” But I conveniently forgot about it.
A few more days passed, and one evening Ben and I were at home. I was checking email, and there was another message about that prayer class. Before I had much of a chance to think about it, I quickly asked Ben, “What are the qualifications for leading that prayer class?”
He said, “Yes. You have them. Do it.”
So I am. And guess what? I’m scared, and I don’t have all the details figured out, and whenever I sit down to try to make a plan so that I’ll feel better, I feel as though the Holy Spirit is saying to me, “Trust me.”
I have no plan.
But I said yes. We start this coming Sunday. Oh, mercy.
The strange thing is that while I occasionally feel like vomiting out of sheer nervousness, I also feel very exhilarated at the same time. I have no idea what will happen. Scary! I have no idea what will happen. Awesome! There will be tons of room for the Holy Spirit to move in and teach me a thing or two.
Should be interesting.
I’ve learned one thing already, so I’m ahead – I said “yes” this time.
What do you need to say “yes” to, before you think yourself out of obeying God?!