Yes – Us

July 18, 2015
by Pat Bell

Matthew 16:19 – And that's not all. You will have complete and free access to God's kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven. (MSG)

A fellow Sunday School teacher says that she gets more out of Sunday School than the children do. This devotional is about one of those experiences.

Recently, while teaching Sunday School, I watched a second-grade student working on her response to the Bible story for the day. As she attempted to print the correct spelling of "Jesus", she glanced up for assistance, so I said, "J E S – U S. It looks like 'Yes – us'."

"Yes – us" stuck in my brain overnight. The next morning, the Holy Spirit reminded me that God's "Yes" for "us" speaks of the universality of our Father's love for us. God's love is for all of us, available to anyone. It is there for the taking. Taking God's love to heart, though, requires first of all, an awareness of it, and secondly, trust in His desire to give it.

Then, the Holy Spirit got personal: "Change 'Yes – us' to 'Yes – me'." Then in one of those moments of quiet understanding, a list of hard words spoken about me in childhood scoldings, along with others spoken through the years with anger, came into my conscious mind. Uncomplimentary labels like "messy", "slow", "inconsiderate", and others that I had internalized from life experiences, especially from the impressionable years of childhood, were vaporized in a revised impression of myself as someone in whom God takes great delight. Despite every other opinion to the contrary, God's "Yes!" is a vote of confidence, affirmation, and supreme love!

At the time, my granddaughter was making the transition from crawling to walking. I had spent time with her providing her with "sky hooks", holding her hands as she perfected her steps and grew in her skills to the point that she could walk as fast as she could crawl. I sensed the same joy from God for me as the delight that I felt in fellowship with her as we walked. Joy from God with me and for me was a given, but I had been hindered in taking it to heart by what I had unconsciously believed about myself, based on words expressed long ago by significant others in my life. God said to me, "My love delights over you in same way that you delight over your eleven-month-old granddaughter. Come for hugs from Me like she seeks hugs from you."

My "Yes – me, He really loves me" moment was a "metanoia", a repentance, a change of mind, an instant and complete reversal of attitude.

Yes, I have forgiven the people who offered those adjectives. I have taken "Child in whom God delights" as my new label.

What a sobering thought! Others' evaluations of us, planted in our unconscious mind, can become barriers to our full understanding of God's love. Our hard evaluations of others and ourselves can hinder the fresh start that God has already provided through Jesus! Forgiving takes on whole new meaning.

How are you when faced with infinite love: denying or joyous?

Prayer: Father in heaven, help us to take to heart Your thoughts and ways. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, we ask. Amen.

About the author:

Pat Bell <llebpat@gmail.com>
Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    What a great picture! Thanks!


    So true Pat. Good reminder and encouragement.


    This is a lovely devotional Pat. Thanks for sharing.


    How wonderful it is when we realize our worth in Jesus! Thanks for sharing your story today and may you be blessed, precious child of God, today and always.


    Dear Pat,
    I really enjoy your devotional “Yes – Us”.
    Thank you.


    Pat:
    A message of assurance in that you have laid the foundation assuring us what the lord really thinks of us regardless of what others say or do to us.


    Pat: A well chosen theme for this day’s Devotional, a subject that has laid deep within the feelings and cause of actions of so many of us. Thanks for the thought, Pat, it never occurred to me what I may be harbouring, undiagnosed over these 80+ years. A most timely subject.
    And Oh yes, there is your THOUGHT FOR TODAY. How true, how true.


    What a wonderful story Pat,
    Glad to see your writing again.
    It it is surprisingly amazing how the Lord uses His little children to teach or remind us of His ways, especially His love.
    The Lord bless you, keep you, and continue to make His face shine upon you.


    Thank you, Pat. Yes – me, and I say, why not me? I’ve lived for over 90 years loving Jesus, but as a teen I knew I had to really dedicate my life to the Lord. Then I learned to know Him in a new and meaningful way, and it no longer was “why me?” but “why not me?” Make sense? Yes!
    May the Lord bless you real good.
    (Ca.)


    Hello Pat – I just read your devotional. It really hit home with me as I have an 11 month old granddaughter too and she is just starting to pull herself up and stand. I too have felt unworthy and find myself making mistakes as I get older and I mentally say to myself –“how can I be so stupid / talk too much & not listen enough / say the wrong things etc.” My self esteem can be pretty low at times. Thanks for pointing out that we are all God’s children and are loved and cherished! Blessings.


    You taught me a new word today Pat; metanoia
    So much truth and tenderness is packed into this devotional, I will be reading it over and over to try to absorb just a fraction of what the Holy Spirit has given to you.
    And to think it began with a child’s spelling error.
    Bless you for being so open to His teaching and for sharing it.

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