george hancock stefanI was in a church meeting last Sunday evening. The choir sang an anthem that repeated the words “I am glad I said yes to the Lord.” I knew the words but the choir used a different melody, which made me pay closer attention. Suddenly, the words took me back to various points in my life where I said yes.

One of the first times I said yes was when I said yes to the Lord. I said it in the innocence of my youth and that yes has increased and gained new meaning as I travel with God. When I looked at my life and the thousands of blessings that have been mine in the Lord, I am thankful I said yes to the Lord.

My parents drilled into my head how important it was to be truthful and good. They emphasized the importance of a good name and a family that acted in an honorable way. I am so happy that I said yes to my parents when I left for elementary school, high school, college, and graduate school and continued the things I had been taught. I belonged to a family that had values, a family that had a past, and a family that had a future.

Another yes that I said was the one on my wedding day as I promised to be loyal and faithful to my wife. Now after 34 years of marriage, four daughters, two sons-in-law, two boyfriends, and two grandchildren, I am so happy I said yes to my wife. It has made me much better and my blessings have overflowed because of the things my wife has brought into my life. I am deeply loved, I am carefree, and I delight in the family that God has given us.

I am so happy that I said yes to the church where I am serving and to the seminary where I teach. Both places are so enjoyable that I wake up in the morning looking forward to going to work. I enjoy my work; I enjoy the congregational life, and I enjoy the academic life. More than ten years ago, the church and the seminary decided that I could work at both and it has been a marvelous experience.

This past week I was corresponding with a friend about an event in my parents’ lives. Both of my parents become believers on August 26, 1956, when I was 6 years old. They were baptized in one of the largest baptisms that we had in our area—91 people gave their lives to Christ and were baptized. My father and mother said yes to God that day and we as their children were blessed because of that small but crucial word they said to God.