In order to say “yes” to God, we have to say “no” to something else. Actually, everything else. That's seen in our lives from salvation on.
I’ve been battling with this for the past month. When I came back to Uganda, I wanted to jump right in where I left off. I was so anxious to see my kids and even more anxious to start up the Bible study with the girls again. I was doing all these things plus trying to settle and set up my house and focus on language studies and oh, don’t I still have 500 books to read for WorldVenture? and plan for the future and…and…and…
About three weeks ago, God said a very hard “no”. I kept trying to do the Bible study with the girls but had no peace about it in my heart. I attributed it to selfishness. I mean, why else would I not feel as though that's what I should be doing? But then God made it clear. Through strangers, friends, His Word and more, He had a message for me:
Not now. The time will come when you will teach. For now, you just need to listen. I’ve given you this time as a gift; a time to fully focus on me. A time to dig deep in my Word. A time for us. Take all other distractions away. Now is the time to focus.
I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. How could God say no to this? On my return, my girls expressed excitement for the study to start up again as it hadn’t been continued in my absence. These girls mean the world to me. I want to spend as much time with them as I can.
I can do all these "good" things but if it's not what God wants, then it's not right.
I had to surrender my girls into the hands of God. They’re not mine; they are His. What better hands to give them to?
Through the pain, I felt relief. I finally had clarity on the restlessness inside of me. I had direction on what God wanted me to be doing. I now have more focus than I did before. I went on a solitude retreat this past weekend to listen. He reiterated what He had already been saying:
Focus, Sarah, focus. The task before you is big. You need to prepare yourself. Focus.
Since then, I’ve been looking at my life and asking God, “what else?”. God, what else is in the way of You right now? What else is distracting me from Your purpose? God, help me strip all of that away and be completely focused on You.
He hasn’t given clear answers on that yet but, here I wait: ear pressed closely to His mouth and waiting to hear.