(Below is a little peek into my book, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God – the story of how I really got started on this life-long “yes” journey. And I thought it just might speak into someone’s heart today. Find out how you can dig deeper into the book at the end of this post!)
It all started the day God told me to give away my Bible.
I was exhausted from traveling and speaking. All I wanted to do was to get to my assigned seat on the plane and settle in for a long winter’s nap. Imagine my absolute delight at being the only person seated in my row. I was just about to close my eyes when two last-minute passengers made their way to my row and took their seats.
Reluctantly, I decided to forgo my nap. The last thing I needed was to fall asleep and snore or, worse yet, wake up with my head resting on the guy’s shoulder beside me. No, I didn’t need another most embarrassing moment, so I pulled a manuscript out of my bag and started reading.
“What are you working on?” the guy asked. I told him I was a writer and I was working on a book titled Leading Women to the Heart of God. He smiled and said he thought God was a very interesting topic. I agreed and asked him a few questions about his beliefs. Before long, I found myself reaching into my bag and pulling out my Bible, walking him through some key verses that dealt with the issues he was facing. He kept asking questions, and I kept praying God would give me answers.
All of a sudden, I felt God tugging at my heart to give this man my Bible. Now, this was not just any Bible. This was my everyday, highlighted, underlined, written in, and tearstained Bible. My kids had even drawn pictures in this Bible. I started to argue with God in my head, but His message was clear. I was to give away my Bible.
I emptied it of some old church bulletins and other papers, took a deep breath, sighed, and placed it in the man’s hands. “I’d like for you to have my Bible,” I said. Astonished, he started to hand it back to me, saying he couldn’t possibly accept such a gift. “God told me to give it to you,” I insisted. “Sometimes the God of the universe pauses in the midst of all His creation to touch the heart of one person. Today, He paused for you.”
The man took my Bible and made two promises. First, he said he would read it, and, second, someday he would pass it on, doing for someone else what I’d done for him.
Before I knew it, the plane landed and we were saying our goodbyes. As I stepped into the aisle preparing to disembark, the woman on the other side of the businessman reached out and grabbed my arm. She’d been staring out the window the entire time we were flying, and I thought she’d been ignoring us. But her tearstained face told a different story.
In a tone so hushed I could barely hear her, she whispered, “Thank you. What you shared today has changed my life.” I put my hand on hers and whispered back, “You’re welcome.” Then a knot caught in my throat as tears welled up in my eyes. I didn’t have another Bible to give away, so I gave her one of my books and hugged her goodbye.
It has been said that we are to tell the whole world about Jesus, using words only if necessary. I saw this powerful truth come to life. Though I never spoke to this lady about Jesus, she saw Him through my obedience.
How humbling. How profound.
As I got off the plane that day, I could barely hold back my tears. Three people’s hearts were radically changed.
I believe the businessman came to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior. I believe the same is true for the lady. But my heart was changed in a dramatic way as well. While on the one hand I was overjoyed at what God had done, I was also brokenhearted by the flood of thoughts that came to mind recounting times I’d told God no.
How tragic to miss God’s divine appointments.
I just kept wondering, How many times have I told You no, God? How many times because I was too tired, too insecure, too uncertain, too busy, or too selfish have I walked right past Your divine appointment for me and missed experiencing You?
I lifted up my heart to the Lord and whispered, “Please forgive me for all those noes. Right now I say yes, Lord. I say yes to You before I even know what You might ask me to do. I simply want You to see a yes-heart in me.”
Several minutes after exiting the plane, I was weaving in and out of the crowds, trying to find my connecting gate, when I spotted the businessman again. He stopped me to tell me he had been praying to God and thanking Him for what happened on the plane. We swapped business cards, and, though we lived several states apart, I knew we would stay in touch.
About a month later he called to tell me his life had totally changed. He’d taken a week off from work to read the Bible, and he’d already shared his testimony with numerous people.
When he said this to me, my mouth dropped open. I couldn’t bring myself to tell him that I’d never taken a week off from work to read the Bible. God was definitely pursuing this man in a serious way!
When I asked him what his favorite verse was, he said it was Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” I thought to myself, Wow! Look at how God has already answered that for my new friend.
He also told me that after reading the Scriptures he knew he needed to get involved in a church, so he’d decided to visit a large church in his town. On his way there he passed another church, and a strong feeling came over him to turn his car around and go back to that church.
So he did.
When he got to his seat in the sanctuary, he opened up his bulletin and gasped. Inside the bulletin he saw my picture and an announcement that I was to be the speaker at an upcoming women’s conference. He said he felt as though, once again, God had paused just for him.
That day on the plane, when God impressed on my heart to give this man my Bible, I did not know what would happen. This man might have thrown my Bible into the nearest airport trashcan, for all I knew. Normally, I would have come up with a hundred reasons not to give my Bible away, but that day something changed in me. That day, for the first time, I truly heard the call of a woman who says yes to God: “Whatever God says to do, do it.”
Over 14,000 women have signed up for the Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Online Bible Study of What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, and you can too! Click here for more information and to sign up.
And here’s a fun giveaway to prepare you for the study… five commenters will be chosen to win a copy of the book today.
Tell me about a time when you’ve answered God’s call to be obedient.