Joey de la Garza
Hi, I’m Joey de la Garza. I have been married to my wonderful wife, Sarah, for four years and we serve together at Celebrate Recovery on Friday nights.
“God has chosen to make known . . .Christ in you, the hope of glory”
Colossians 1:27 (New International Version)
“But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son . . . Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” - Luke 1:13-18 (NIV)
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” . . . “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” - Luke 1:34-37 (NIV)
In 2013 I asked Sarah to marry me. It was a big deal, not just because I was proposing to my future wife, but because I had no idea how it could possibly work out. We had been dating for five years and I knew I loved her and I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. However, there was one small problem. Neither of us had any money.
I was a substitute teacher, but had not had work in two months. I was raised to believe that without a degree and a good job, you shouldn’t get married. At that time, I had dropped out of college and I had no savings. Despite that, I believed it was God’s plan for me to get married but I was still afraid and dragged my feet.
One day, Pastor Michael Dean called me to his office and told me I needed to get serious about proposing. He said if I didn’t commit to a date I would never propose to Sarah. He was right. I set the date and promised to have the ring by then. As I was leaving his office, I got a call from the school district to substitute. I substituted every day for the next few months, bought a ring, and proposed shortly thereafter.
God’s plans for us sometimes calls us to follow Him outside of our comfort zone. For me, following God meant being ready to say “yes” instead of “yes, but.” When an angel of the Lord came down to Zechariah and told him that God had heard his prayers and would bless him with a son, Zechariah asked for proof. He asked, “How can I be sure of this?” (Luke 1: 18, NIV). Zechariah was ready to believe in God’s promises, if. If he had proof. If he could be sure. If it was safe to believe.
Sometime later an angel of the Lord came to Mary and told her that she had been chosen to give birth to the son of God, Jesus Christ. Mary responded differently. She asked, “How will this be?” Mary believed that the Lord would do what he promised, she didn’t know how it would all work out, but she trusted that it would. The difference was in her heart.
We want to be like Mary, we want to hear God’s call and say, “Yes.” However, too often, we try to obey God in our own way. I said, “I’ll follow you when the conditions are perfect.” It was only after I stopped saying, “Yes, but,” and started saying “Yes”, that God really changed my life. God often waits for us to say “yes” to his plan before he shows us how it will all work out. I have seen that God’s plan is always bigger, better and more satisfying and all we need to do is say “yes.”
1. Can you think of a time you were like Zechariah?
2. Is there somewhere in your life that you feel God calling you to say “Yes?”