When God says, “No”

I still remember the first time I got to experience the Scholastic Book Fair in all its splendor. I was about 6. While the Book Fair was one of the best days of school (second only to Field Day, of course), there was a catch. See, your parents could send a list of items for you to buy. The librarians wouldn’t let you get anything that wasn’t on your list. Of course that’s what my parents did because I was convinced they existed only to ruin my life and crush my dreams. There were kids who just showed up with cash and could buy whatever they wanted. I was not that kid. No.

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There was always one table at the Book Fair that wasn’t books. There were pens, pencils, stickers, and small toys. Of course, that was every kid’s favorite table. I mean, who wants to buy books at a book fair when there’s toys?

There was a crayon I wanted. In one crayon, there were several different colors. I wanted it so badly. Of course, my parents said no. Again, I was so convinced their entire mission in life was to be a fun-sucker. They told me, “Kristin, you have tons of crayons. You don’t need more.” Like I said…life-ruiners.

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It was kind of like these pencils, only with crayon and not lead.

So, if mom and dad said no, I’d go over their head. Yeah! I would go directly to the big guy upstairs! I prayed for this crayon. I prayed like my life depended on it. For a crayon. I truly expected to wake up and find this crayon beside my bad. As you can imagine, I did not. This was the first time I remember truly feeling disappointed. All I wanted was one little crayon! Was that so much to ask?

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Now, okay, I was six. You can’t expect much spiritual maturity from a child. I didn’t understand that God was not a magic genie in the sky who grants our wishes. I understand that now. I know I can’t pray for a brand-new BMW and expect to find one has magically appeared in my driveway.

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However, I still shake my fist at Heaven when I don’t get my way.

 

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. – 1 John 5:14

 

 

Yes, we can bring specific requests before God. However, going back to 1 John 5:14, what we pray for must be within accordance to His will.

What it comes down to is this: you can pray about whatever you want, but you may not like God’s answer. He will either say yes, not now, or no. Do you trust God even when He says no? Do you believe that He knows better than you? Are you at peace, even when God doesn’t give you what you want?

Speaking, of course, in broad generalities, the majority of us are pretty self-centered. When we shake our fist at Heaven, because God hasn’t given us what we want, we’re basically throwing an adult-sized tantrum. We want what we want exactly when we want it and if we don’t get it, we kick and scream, and pound our fists.

God loves us. He is for us. That should comfort us, not frustrate us. When God doesn’t give us our way, we should rejoice, because God knows what is best for His children! As an adult, I know why mom didn’t let me buy that crayon I wanted. It was very expensive and it would have gotten lost in the bottom of our toy barrel like every other trinket I had to have. The books that I was allowed to buy stayed on our shelves and we had them for years. Much better investment…

It’s much easier to see the big picture when you can step back a little bit. Sometimes, life is like weaving a tapestry: it seems a bit messy up close, until you step back and it all comes into focus.

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When God says no, remember He is for you. He loves you. He is perfect and His ways our good. If that doesn’t comfort you, well, you can pray about that, too! 😉

Take care and God bless!

 

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7 thoughts on “When God says, “No”

  1. I love this because I was just praying a prayer program at our church last week where I talked about praying in the Spirit. The Bible tells us we don’t even know what to pray for but, when we pray in accordance with God’s will, even mountains will move. That’s where the Spirit comes in. If you first submit completely to God, He can teach you what to pray for. He will sometimes even go as far as putting the words in your mouth. I know because it’s happened to me a couple of times with mountain-moving results (Okay, not exactly moving mountains, but still powerfully miraculous, once even affecting the entire east coast). The point is, if God shows you what to pray for, you can be sure He will answer with a yes… Though even then you may have to be persistent (think Elijah praying for rain). So, I believe that we should stop praying “Thy will be done” at the end of a prayer and start leading with it… With sincerity. Because we waste a lot of time praying for our own foolish things when we could be seeing God’s Miracles.

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  2. Amen. Of course, often the best answer to prayers for issues like that is for us to be the answer… By letting go of things ourselves and investing our money toward helping people (instead of toward surrounding ourselves with a functional world via some electric box). Don’t you find it ironic when people complain of third-world deprivation (or even first-world hunger and homelessness) while they themselves are doing nothing to alleviate such suffering? God works through people, and He has commanded us to take care of the poor. So, if that’s our job, why do we complain when He doesn’t step in and do it for us? We are called to be the initiators of the change we wish to see in the world. It’s time we started doing what we have been called to do instead of focusing on ourselves and our own comfort level (I think I feel another mission trip coming on 😉)

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    1. YES! And I think for many Christians, our attitude is, “Well, I can’t change the world so why bother trying” Maybe you can only support ONE family living in a third-world nation. To that family, you are changing their life. Maybe you give ONE homeless person a meal. To that person, it matters. You can’t do everything, but you can do SOMETHING. And (sorry, you ignited my rant-mode), there are oppurtunities to serve all around us. Half the time, we’re just too busy to see them.

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      1. Amen! Preach it! Because this is something that is so important but that we seem to too easily forget. Jesus said helping people is the sacrifice He desires. And, when it comes down to it, this is what the gospel is all about.

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