Tuesday, March 21, 2006

When God says "No"

I don't like it when God says "no". Why does He do that???

I pray and I expect a certain answer, and then discover that God won't answer it my way. So here's what I'm learning, still very much a student in this 'following Jesus' school.

God Says NO when...

...when it is not His plan (for instance, when Adam didn't have a wife...)
"how about the camel, Lord?"
"OK, there's a ... oh, never mind... hey - what's THAT?"
"Her name is Eve."
"OHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... nice!"

...when it is for our best (like Adam and Eve in the Garden...)
"Can we eat from all of the trees?"
"Can we touch it?"
"Why??? ....oops..."

...when it is not His timing (no children)
"Lord, we took care of it. Abram is going to sleep with Hagar..."
"No.... that's a BAD idea!"
"It is? We think it will work fine! ....oh..."

...when it seems hard to believe it can happen (Sarai's pregnancy)
"I am too old to have kids"
"No you're not!"

...when we don't understand what God has asked us to do
"OK, Isaac, get up on the altar"
"No, I have provided the sacrifice"

(And that's just starting the list from the book of Genesis!!!)

For happy and sad reasons, God has said "no" to me many times. I went through a broken engagement 21 years ago. It was a marriage that God said "no" to. At the time, I said, "but WHY???" Now I can say "YES! THANK YOU!" -- but only in hindsight. At the time, it hurt. A lot.

I'd like to say that I've always been able to see when God answers my prayers with a "no". I don't. In fact, most of the time, I still try to argue Him into my preferred answer. I'm catching on a little faster each time. I still don't like it when He says "no". Instead of "WHY???" I try to say, "OK - I don't get it. Show me why when I am ready to understand."

He has NEVER said "NO" to that prayer!!

From our home to yours...


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