September 17, 2021

Isaiah 6:8
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

When our children were very young, a decade ago at this point, we had a very clear rule about obedience. When their mother or I gave an instruction, they had to say “yes”. Before saying, “why?” or “but,” they first had to say yes. After they said yes, we regularly opened negotiations based on what they were in the middle of, whose job it actually was to feed the dog, etc. But we wanted them to have the conversation from a posture of ‘yes’ instead of defaulting to ‘no’ as many children tend to do. It started with small requests like, “Please clear your plate from the table.” And worked its way up the slate of chores that are part and parcel of farm life. Full disclosure, an unintended consequence of that rule was the creation of two brand new words in our house: “yesmomwhy” and “yesdadwhy”.

Still, over the course of years, reinforcing the need to say yes to our requests created a household of usually helpful, regularly cheerful children. We were able to teach our kids to posture their heads and hearts towards yes, and then we would have conversations about how to make the task more palatable, possible, or timely.

It’s this posture that Isaiah demonstrates in front of God. God puts out a request (a very vague request, by the way) and Isaiah immediately responds. To be fair, any of us in Isaiah’s position—standing in front of God surrounded by angels—would probably act the same way. For you and I it can get much muddier. Did I hear God correctly? Does He mean right now? Am I just making this up? Still, many of the people who end up doing extraordinary things for God start with the smallest and simplest of yeses—the spiritual equivalent of clearing our plates after dinner.

If you struggle to say yes to God, or if you have trouble hearing Him at all, you can start in very small increments. For example, God commands us to love our neighbors. Is there a simple way you can say yes to that command? God commands us to love Him with our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Is there a way to say yes to that command? My prayer is that you will find it easier and easier to say, like Isaiah, “I’m here. Send me.”
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