After hearing so many good reviews on Lysa TerKeurst’s book, The Best Yes, I decided it was finally time to sit down and read the book instead of having it remain as just another book on my long To-Read list.
I can honestly say that I have no regrets picking up Lysa’s book. In fact, I had a really hard time putting it down and concentrating on completing all the things around the house that needed to be done, like cleaning the bathrooms, and prepping dinner so that it was ready for the time my hubby came home from work. It was that good.
Feeling like we need to say yes to everything everyone asks of us is a struggle I think we all have at some point in our lives, whether it be during college and wanting to be a part of every extracurricular activity on top of getting homework done and investing in friendships, or during your first year of marriage when each side of the family seems to be playing tug-o-war with your time while all you really want and need to do is spend time getting to figure out life with your spouse, or be it during the early stages of motherhood when you are learning what life is like with a little person who is completely and utterly dependent on you and yet you feel pressured to participate in ministry after ministry at your church, and that’s not to mention all the family and friends that want you and your little ones attention, whether that means hosting them or packing up and travelling to them.
Regardless of who is asking or what they are asking you to say yes to, Lysa reminds us that taking time to think about our decisions and saying no at times is more than okay, it’s healthy. She reminds us that if we are to ever put our all into our best yes opportunities, we will need to put intentional thought into the decisions we make, and we will need to say a gentle no to some of the other (though not always bad) opportunities. Because if we say yes to everything, we are spread thin like butter over toast and eventually we burn out, mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically. And if we rush into all of our decisions, what may seem good in the moment may not always be good in the long run.
In Chapter 18, Lysa also reminds us that many of our best yes opportunities will not look the way we expect them to, meaning that they may be the hardest things we ever do. Because really, what in life ever goes according to our expectations and plans? And plus, our God is bigger than and greater than, and His ways and His best yes opportunities for us are usually not at all conventional.
What I love most about Chapter 18 is how Lysa uses Mary, the mother of Jesus, as an example. You see, Mary was a woman that God called blessed and favoured. Mary was a woman who thoughtfully and intentionally said yes to the best yes opportunity that God has given her. I’m sure that there were so many good and beautiful moments, like after she gave birth and was holding that precious bundle against her chest, breathing in the sweet scent of a newborn baby and seeing the new life shine brightly in those little eyes. As mother myself, I can only imagine the joy in Mary’s heart as she saw Jesus develop his personality and character, as she watched him learn and grow and play and explore. And I’m sure there was a deep gratefulness and sense of joy that was hidden deep in her heart, knowing that for whatever reason, God chose her, a young girl of no importance whatsoever on earthly terms.
Yet there was also a lot of hard, ugly moments that Mary experienced as a result of choosing to say yes to the best that God had to offer her. When she was pregnant with Jesus, Joseph wanted to divorce her, and she was most likely not only scorned by those in her village, but by her own family. And then there’s the fact that her son, whom she loved with all of her heart, was publicly murdered in the most brutal way possible of that day. I can’t imagine the turmoil Mary was put through as she stood at the foot of the cross, looking up at her son who was barely recognizable because of all the wounds from being tortured and whipped. I’m sure at that moment she had flashbacks to those bright little eyes and that sweet scent and the warmth of her babe as she cuddled him close. I literally cannot imagine.
Our best yes opportunities do not always look as we expect them to, meaning that at times they are the hardest things we will ever do. But that’s no reason to turn away from them. Because it is through our suffering that endurance is produced, which in turn produces our character, which creates in us a deep-rooted hope. And our hope will not disappoint, because God is wholly good and loving, and He will not disappoint, even if in the moment our best yes opportunity seems like it will lead to the end of us. (Romans 5:4-5)
So if you are looking for a book to read in the coming weeks, I highly recommend that you read The Best Yes. I promise, you won’t regret it!
Are there any good books that you have read lately and would recommend?