Yes, God!

by Saying “yes” to God will cost you something. It may even cost you everything. From the Garden of Eden to the present day, God offers each person the choice to follow Him. He is not a puppeteer that pulls your strings. God created you with free will so that your relationship with Him would be bathed in freedom, not forced submission. When Jesus came knocking on your heart’s door, it was your choice to open the door and let Him in. Now that He is your Savior, will you allow Him to be the Lord of your life? You get to choose. The Christian walk is not without struggles and temptations. Bad stuff happens to good people, but as the Bible says in Matthew 5:45, “the rain falls on the just and the unjust.” We live in a fallen world, and daily, we all are subjected to the consequences. But the greater question is this, when you encounter a life- changing event, how will you respond? Will you step out in faith, trusting that God will meet your every need and never let you go? Or will you cave in to fear and attempt to muddle through in your own strength? In January 2018, our lives unexpectedly changed as my husband encountered multiple health issues in a short period of time. Over the course of just five days, he was first diagnosed with pneumonia, had a heart attack that night, three days later, came down with Influenza A, and the next morning had a brain bleed (stroke). And yet he lived. Only God’s grace preserved his life. This is only the beginning of the story. The whole story spans five hospitals, one care facility, in two states, for 168 days, before he was released to go home to complete his recovery, which still continues today. Our story is not just about the many miracles that God performed over the course of my husband’s hospitalization, saving him from death multiple times, or even how God sustained me during those uncertain days. It is a story of faith and trust in God. God and I had many discussions over the course of this journey. I have always been a prayer warrior, but God took me to a whole new level during this training period. Here are three foundational truths I learned: • Saying “yes” to God means choosing faith, not fear. When I stand in faith, there is no room for fear. “Perfect love casts out all fear.” (1 John 4:18) And when we stand in faith with God, He will be our shield and our defender. “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37) Even in our darkest hour, I couldn’t stop believing that my husband would live. God promised life and I stood on that promise, no matter what the circumstances looked like. • Either you trust God or you don’t, there is no middle ground. Either you are walking with God or with the enemy, Satan; you can’t be on both teams. Double agents may be cool in the movies, but God knows your heart. You cannot hide the truth. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) God put me to the test when He asked me to trust Him even when my eyes couldn’t see the outcome. Many days in ICU, there were only three of us in that room: Bill and me and God. And God wasn’t always speaking, sometimes He just held me in His arms of love. • Prayer can move mountains. Prayer is not just a conversation with God; it’s an education, collaboration, and a battle plan meeting in the war room. Praying is not for the weak of heart. It is a battle fought, not only in the physical realm, but the spiritual realm. It will cost you; not only time and energy, but often sleep. In the Garden of Gethsemane before going to the cross, Jesus’ sweat was like drops of blood as He earnestly prayed. (Luke 22:44) The good news for us, as we pray, is that Jesus and the Holy Spirit intercede for us. However, our responsibility is to “pray and not faint.” (Luke 18:1) We need to be persistent, persevere, and never give up! Stand up to the enemy clothed in the full armor of God and fight the battles that come your way. It was not only my prayers, but the prayers of God’s people that moved the hand of God. God heard the cries of our heart and answered. I believe that’s why my husband is still alive today. So what about you? Have you encountered a moment in your life where God presented an opportunity to say “yes”, no matter the cost, no matter the circumstances? It may not always be in the form of a trial, it could be the promise of the fulfillment of a long-awaited dream. But in that moment, you must choose where you will stand. My prayer is that you will say “yes” to God, because we need you to say “yes.” You have a mission that only you can fulfill - a purpose for your life. Choose His way today. It’s always worth it.