Friday, September 23, 2016

“Say, ‘Yes,’ Granny. Say, ‘Yes!’”

“Say, ‘Yes,’ Granny. Say, ‘Yes!’”      

“Say, ‘Yes,’ Granny. Say, ‘Yes!’”

His image is seared into my mind forever—my four year old grandson looking up at me—with huge brown eyes and raised eye brows, yearning for a positive response. As any self-respecting granny would, I looked adoringly at his face wanting to say, “Yes,” but he had not yet stated his request.

So before giving an answer, I had to say, “What is it, William? What do you want, you precious darling?”

I believe God says to us, “Say ‘Yes,’ (insert your name). Say ‘Yes!’” And, hey, He may even add, “you precious darling.”  When God calls our names to follow Him initially and when He gives a specific directive, He wants our response to be, “Yes.”

And just like William, sometimes our Lord wants us to say, “Yes,” even before we know what He wants us to do.

We must be convinced that when we say, “Yes,” to the Lord, it’s for our good.


We must know, in the depths of our being, that when we say, “Yes,” to our Creator, we open up the door to our destiny.

When Jesus called His disciples to follow Him they each said, “Yes,” immediately, knowing little about to what they were agreeing. But in their hearts, they knew they could trust Him. 

 Matthew tells us,

“While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him” (Matthew 4:18-22 ESV).

We don’t know what is weighing in the balance by our answer. But God knows.
We don’t know what hardship or blessing will result from our answer. But God knows.

What if Peter, Andrew, James, and John had said, “No,” when Jesus said “Follow Me.” Each would have closed the door to his God-ordained destiny.

Are you aware that you have a God-ordained destiny? God knows each of our names and we’re each called to follow Jesus. He has a plan and purpose for each of our lives (Jeremiah 29:11). 

When we say, “Yes,” and believe and receive Jesus, we’re taking the first step into our God-ordained destiny. That first step, though, is not the end-all. Yes, it determines our eternal home but it’s just the beginning of our walk with the Lord.

Over and again, we need to say, “Yes,” to the call of Christ. Each time we do, we’re stepping further into our destiny and deeper into our relationship with Jesus.

As we trust Him with more, He trusts us with more. I repeat: As we trust Him with more, He trusts us with more.  

“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also with much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much” (Luke 16:10 NASB).

Is Jesus asking you to say, “Yes,” to something? Don’t say, “No,” closing the door to your destiny. By the way, “Maybe,” is a negative response as well.
Perhaps, like me, you’ve said, “No,” to His call in the past. That doesn’t mean it’s over. Our God is full of grace and is a second and third (and more) chance God. 

He doesn’t get mad at us but it saddens Him when we turn away from His calling
This time say, “Yes.” Boldly say, “Yes,” with joy and anticipation at what God’s going to do.  With a willing vessel, God is able to do exceedingly more than we can ask or think or imagine because of his Spirit working in and through us (Ephesians 3:20).

Is God saying, “Say, ‘Yes,’ (your name). Say, ‘Yes!’”?

 ©Connie Wohlford 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Rejection is NO Match For God

Rejection is NO Match For God                   

Our son, Shannon, was twelve years old when he decided he wanted to attend the U.S. Naval Academy after high school graduation. We told him that if that were to happen, he’d need to maintain outstanding grades all through school.   
Bill the Goat - USNA Mascot

Time sped by and as graduation approached, Shannon had exceeded the criteria for acceptance in most any college or university—even earning the title of valedictorian of his graduating class. Also he was a well-rounded candidate with accolades in sports, choir, and leadership—among which student body president.

It appeared he was well on his way to fulfilling his dream of receiving an appointment to the USNA. 

Our son had worked hard, spending much time during his junior year of high school, filling out numerous forms, writing essays, and sending his credentials to our congressman, senator and the vice president of the United States.
Time moved on and the long anticipated letter from The Academy arrived in the mail. I carried the letter up to Shannon’s room and handed it over as he sat on his bed. 

I held my breath as he opened it, anticipating what we hoped would be would be sensational news. I watched while he read silently. He lowered the letter, stared straight ahead and said, “I’ve been rejected.”

I was stunned. Of course we all knew this was a possibility. But knowing he’d worked so hard and that he’d met all the qualifications with flying colors, this was a hard pill to swallow. And we’d prayed. We’d prayed for God’s will. So—maybe, for our son, being a midshipman was not God’s will. 

I asked Shannon to let me see the letter. I read every word. He’d been rejected because of three medical issues—vision correction, a functional heart murmur, and blood in his urine. (The latter two had been diagnosed during medical exams specifically for his USNA application. In all his years of medical exams, sports injuries, etc. these issues had never been detected.) 

I flipped the letter over and read small print at the bottom. Here I discovered an obscure statement that brought a ray of light through the dark cloud which hovered over my son’s head and heart.

I looked at Shannon and said, “It says here that if you want, you may request a medical waiver for any condition. If a waiver is granted, admission is possible. Do you want to do this?”

“Yes, ma’am.” 

Slowly nodding, I said, “Okay,” and prayed silently.

I looked into my son’s eyes and boldly declared, “Shannon, we’ll request three medical wavers, and if God wants you to go to the Naval Academy, all the devils in Hell will not stop you!”

He agreed and got onto the task of requesting three wavers.

Again, we waited—confidently knowing that if God wanted Shannon to be a midshipman, all the devils in hell would not get in the way. We prepared ourselves for the answer to be yea or nay. 

The year and a half long arduous application process finally bore a final answer when Shannon received a congratulations letter, welcoming him into the United States Naval Academy Class of 92. 

I-Day for Plebes (Internet photo)
His dream came true and in July 1988, he became a lowly plebe, setting sail to begin a twenty-four year exciting and honorable military career—even including being an aviator in fighter jets—fulfilling his greatest military aspiration.

Here again, God slew a giant for His child and all the devils in Hell couldn’t stop Him.

Shannon's retirement "Fini Flight"*

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).

Are you holding a letter of rejection? Or are you up against a wall of rejection? 

Go about the business of perusing your dream if you believe God put it in your heart. Trust God, knowing that if it’s His will and you’re doing your part, all the devils in Hell won’t stop you.  

Your comments are welcome. 

Be encouraged by this song: “God Will Make A Way”

©Connie Wohlford 2016

*Some of you observant folks may notice that, in the photo, Shannon is wearing an Air Force uniform--not a Navy uniform. That's because ten years into his career he transitioned from Navy to Air Force, switching from the Tomcat F-14 to the Strike Eagle F-15.