I told God no yesterday.
Have you ever done that? Please tell me I am not alone.
This is not the first time my stubbornness dug its sharp heels deep into the ground and refused to budge. Nope, not even close. I didn’t even leave claw marks behind in my trail because I cemented myself into the dusty soil I was standing on. To be quite honest, I am afraid it won’t be the last time. This is not something I am proud of and as a matter of fact, today my heart is being eaten alive with guilt because of yesterday’s refusal
Why do we do that? Why do we tell God no when we proclaim He knows best? Why do we try to ignore or push aside that still small voice that is nudging us? We hear, but refuse to act. I know the answers to my why’s from yesterday and not a one of them hold water. Each one of my reasons keep running through my thoughts like a leaky ladle. I continue to dip in and draw out hoping for a different outcome. I can sum up all my why’s or better yet excuses in seven simple words; I thought I had plenty of time.
I lost a dear friend early this morning. A beautiful lady with a beautiful heart. The shock of this loss is extremely hard to describe, but sadly I know we all share in this type of sudden experience. Words refuse to come, memories burst forth and thoughts remain jumbled as we try to make sense of it all. Death is never easy, but sudden death can be down right torture. Missed opportunities, unspoken expression of gratitude, and disregarded words of love linger in mockery as reality screams there is no more time.
My friend and I met years ago, but our relationship developed through the friendship of our sons. Our boys grew up in a small country town and enjoyed every minute of making life memories together. Birthday parties, sporting events, school activities, camping trips and shooting sports gave birth to hours of laughter and developed a band of brothers. A group of boys grew into special young men right before our eyes and my friend was there to encourage it all. She threw wide her door to welcome them as she embraced every opportunity to open her home. She fed their bottomless pits and taxied them around everywhere prior to drivers license. Everything the boys did or said was an excuse for her to laugh and she couldn’t wait to share every little detail. She even let these crazy boys put a blue tarp in the bed of her pick-up truck and fill it full of water because they got hot. A redneck’s swimming pool they said:)
God told me to go see my friend yesterday, but I said no.
From all reports she was coming home soon. So, foolishly and somewhat selfishly I decided to wait. All my intent circled around tomorrow, but tomorrow is no longer an option. Time has run out on my opportunity as well as my friendship with this beautiful soul.
I have experienced two other profound occasions in my adult life where I have flat out refused God’s prompting as I did yesterday. Regret does not even come close to describing the aftermath. One morning I spotted a gentleman setting on a curb by a convenience store who looked to be down on his luck. As my husband and I drove by, God encouraged me to stop and reach out to the man. Quickly, I came up with at least three or four excuse of why I shouldn’t ask Robert to pull over. As we exited the parking lot, I continued to watch the gentleman grow smaller and smaller in my side mirror. Out of sight, out of mind, right? The other occasion eerily resembles the first, but this time it was a young female setting on a curb with her suitcase outside a restaurant in Yukon, Oklahoma. God gave me two chances to reach out to this young lady. One as we got out of our vehicle to enter the restaurant and another when we returned. “Go over and set by her”…again, I silenced His voice with my flawed reasoning.
Three gifted opportunities tossed right down the middle and I struck out. I told God all the reasons why I shouldn’t or couldn’t; all the while He was willing me to just follow His lead.
IN GOOD COMPANY
Moses also told God no. As God was preparing to rescue His children from the cruel hand of the Egyptians, He appeared to Moses in the form of a burning bush. God hand-picked Moses to go toe-to-toe with Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of bondage; but there was one little hiccup…Moses balked. In his own words Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord; Please send someone else” (Exodus 4:13, NIV). At this time in Moses’ life he could write murderer, runner, and stutterer on his resume, but one day God spoke. Just another ordinary day, but God spoke.
We are all gung-ho when God tells others to go, but we sure know where the brake pedal is when it is our name He speaks. Every excuse under the sun rolls off our tongue as if we can tell God anything He doesn’t already know. The all-knowing God who wove together every fiber of our being knows each flaw and short-coming we possess; yet He wants you and I to be a part of His greater plan for this world. Telling God no is like scoffing at the warning label “this can be hazardous to your health.” Moses continued to refuse until God’s anger burned against him (Exodus 4:14, NIV). I wonder how many times I have foolishly caused God’s anger to burn towards me because of my refusals.
I told God no yesterday and today I am living with the harsh reality. I didn’t have plenty of time.
Hug your family today and tell them that you love them. Call or text a friend and tell them how much they mean to you. Listen to that still small voice when it tells you to do something. We don’t know how much time we have and lives really can change in a heartbeat.
Go meet someone at their greatest need TODAY!!
In loving memory of my dear friend Mikki Curtis