About a year ago I received an invitation to do something new and scary that would be an adventure. Teaching pastors in rural Africa. Stretching. Hard. Solo.
I had been asking God for invitations, so my first thought was “I need to say ‘yes’. Jesus followers always say “yes” to invitations to serve those in need, right?
But several details about this ask caused me to pause and ask for time to pray about it before answering.
I prayed honestly and intensely about this offer for over six months. I felt torn. There were specific reasons God brought to mind that led me to believe I should say “no”, but along the way I kept asking, “If I say ‘no’ is it You, or is it really because I’m afraid of taking this risk?”
And “Isn’t God’s will always the hardest thing?”
It was difficult to send the final email saying “Thank you, but no”.
I was afraid of letting down people who needed help.
I was afraid of letting God down.
I was afraid of making a decision that would close all future doors.
If I turned this down maybe I’d discover how dispensable I really am.
As counter as it was to my initial reaction, and as hard as it was, I felt led to say “no” for now.
And then, last night, as I walked into our quiet house alone, out of “nowhere” as clear as everything real, God whispered, “You don’t need to go to Kitale. I love you. Period.”
You don’t need to be afraid.
What scares you most about saying “no”?