The Bravery of “No”
My life has been filled with one adventure after another lately. A few months back the opportunity rose for me to join Titus II Woman Ministry founder and friend, Tara, in writing a book. This is something I had never even considered doing. After much prayer, I agreed in faith to do it. Since making that decision, God has swung wide the doors of opportunity and aligned things in a way only He could do.
My life at work has been changing due to staffing changes. My children are home-schooled and are reaching an age when helping them requires more diligence on my part. All of these things coupled with the mundane duties of life were starting to catch up with me. I found myself feeling overwhelmed. I was having a hard time deciphering what things to agree to and what things to let go of.
My devotions one day included a study on a story in Acts 27. This is the story of Paul’s shipwreck. Even though Paul had warned them not to set sail, the officer in charge chose to listen to the ship’s captain and owner. We pick up the story in Acts 27:13-15, “When a gentle south wind began to blow, they saw their opportunity; so they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete. Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the Northeaster, swept down from the island. The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along.” (NIV)
These men saw and opportunity and seized it. Unfortunately, they let their anxiousness to set sail and not spend the winter in Lasea override the wisdom spoken to them by Paul. Their knowledge of sailing and weather patterns was superseded by their impatience to get going.
The devotion I was reading said these words: “ Paul warned the others that they were heading into a storm, but they sailed anyway. You should not go through every open door you see.” (God’s Dream For Your Life Devotional by Rick Warren)
It takes courage to turn down good things and wait for the best things. Determining what good things to pass up takes patience and prayer. It was another reminder for me that every decision I make must be bathed in prayer. What might seem like a good opportunity at the time may have unforeseen consequences later.
I don’t want to set sail in life and get caught up in a storm I could have avoided if I had listened to the still small voice that said “wait.”
I don’t know what decisions you are facing today or what direction life is taking you. Let me encourage you, it’s ok to say no to good things. Not every opportunity is God’s best for you. Let Him be your navigation. He will never steer you wrong.
Father, I pray for those reading these words. Bring clarity and wisdom to situations in our life that we are struggling to find direction for. Be our light and our guide. Amen.