Our nephew Logan began the day by greeting his three-year-old son, Gabriel . Their conversation went something like this:
Logan: “So Gabe, what do you feel like doing today?”
Gabe: “I feel like saying, ‘No!’”
There’s nothing like the honesty of a three-year-old to put a smile on your face and fear in your heart. It’s a good thing we adults aren’t like that.
I can’t begin to guess how many times I’ve started my mornings pretty much the same way. The only difference is that Gabe is honest about it. Me? Not so much.
So let’s say God nudges me toward some act of kindness, or maybe He asks me to volunteer for a community service project. I don’t come right out and tell God, “I feel like saying NO today.” Instead, I remind Him how busy I am. I also bring up a few pertinent facts, as in, last week I gave hours of quality time to a needy elder. And by the way, God, have You forgotten that I also volunteer as a tutor? How can You expect me to add one more good deed to my schedule? Haven’t You noticed how busy I am?
God isn’t fooled by my excuses. He hears me yelling, “NO!” loud and clear. The only one I’m fooling is me.
When – and if — I finally realize that I’m saying NO to God, I begin with repentance. Then to increase my strength, courage, and resolve, I rely on an uplifting promise in the New Testament book of Philippians, chapter 4, verse 13. “I can do all things through Christ [who] strengthens me.” (King James Version)
Of course, the dual acts of repentance and reliance don’t mean that I’ve conquered the problem, but I have found that God never asks me to do anything that He and I together can’t handle. I’ve also discovered, when I follow God’s plans for my life, He adds extra joy to my days. For example, a sweet lesson in honesty from a very special three-year-old.