There are times when we go to God in prayer and God quickly answers with, “Yes”, and other times we go to God “continually” (see Luke 18:5 for a Biblical definition to this word), and again, He says, “Yes.”
But then there are those times in our lives when we pray continually about a burden on our hearts either for ourselves, or someone we love, and He says “No.” It’s how we react in these times that show us where our relationship really is with Jesus. Does it draw us closer to Him, or push us farther away from Him? Do I throw a fit like a child in the store who didn’t get what they wanted?
I can think of examples of both in my life. And both examples were seasons of lessons learned. God laid it on my heart this month to share one of those with you, and I have been praying continually over how to do this as it’s a deeply personal story to share. I’ve actually sat down and written out several drafts of this and keep trashing them as they don’t truly convey what I want to share. I do not want to approach it as a story of pity, or poor us, or anything of the kind. It will probably take several posts for me to “tell” my story as it was over nine years of my life. But today, I just want to address what God has shown me about when He says, “No.”
This was a truly life changing season for me in my walk with the Lord. And I honestly look back with fondness over His healing hand and constant support. He truly carried me through this season, and I am so thankful for the way it changed not only my relationship with Him, but also pretty much every relationship around me as well.
As I have mentioned, my husband and I have been married for 11 years. He is truly my best friend and if you would have asked us 11 years ago what our life would have looked like 11 years in, we would have stated a picture that is much different than the actual reality of our lives today. You see 11 years ago, we planned on having children, and 9 years ago, we started trying to have children. However, God had a different plan for our lives and the long and short of it, is that He said very clearly, “No” to us having children.
We prayed in His will, and His answer was, “No.” It wasn’t what His plans for us included.
And that left us with a choice of how we were going to deal with that answer. Were we going to throw a fit because it wasn’t the answer we wanted, or were we going to trust God’s heart and allow Him to use this in our life. Of course this overly simplifies what we were going through. I mean, this makes it seem rather simple…of course we should accept it, and trust God’s heart., right? But the reality…well that’s much different isn’t it.
Of course, we weren’t in a perfect world, and there were a lot of other “things” going on during this LONG period of 9 years. We had several miscarriages during this time, my husband was a K-9 Police Officer and SWAT team member which brings it’s own stresses and strains, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the list could go on and on. You see those stresses and strains cannot be excuses to not properly deal with God’s “No’s” in our lives. (Although it would be nice if we could, right?)
“…those stresses and strains cannot be excuses to not properly deal with God’s
“No’s” in our lives.”
And honestly, every day, I did not deal with God’s “No” properly. Every month when my time would roll around and it was another “No”, sometimes God and I had some real frank and open dialogues about how unhappy I was with that response. Sometimes I would cry in anger, and sometimes it was just raw grief. I tried to be honest with myself and God with where I was in my reactions, and how I felt I deserved a yes. After all this was not a bad thing that I desired. In fact, He created me with this desire to be a mom. (Bargaining at it’s worst.) But honestly, the only thing I deserve is a life in hell. He reminded me that He had my best interest at heart. And that I needed to TRUST HIM!
“…the only thing I deserve is a life in hell.”
There were many, many things God used during this time including His Word (the Book of Psalm especially), my Church, my family, Christian Friends, Music and Christian books. All of them reminded me that He was a good, good Father and that I could trust His heart and His plans for me. Jeremiah 29:11 -14 became my goal. I wanted to trust His thoughts towards me, trust Him to draw me closer to Him during this season of my life. Because after all, it was just a season. (I am thankful that God doesn’t always tell us how long these seasons are going to be.)
And truly He did do that. I have more of this story that I want to share with you, but I wanted to take time tonight to just remind you that when God says No in your life, that there is a purpose to it. Our life here on this earth is not just about us and our happiness. (Although I do believe God wants us to find joy in the journey of life here on earth.)
A friend once explained it to me this way, “God is working on a giant cross stitch and all we can see from here on this earth is the bottom.” The bottom of a cross stitch can be very messy to look at, but that mess from the bottom is a beautiful picture when you can see the top. God has it under control.
Find joy in the journey, accept God’s “No’s” as opportunities to draw closer to Him and learn His heart. My relationship with Him is stronger for having to accept His “No” in my life. And I look at this season with joy in my heart now. It is impossible for the world to understand how we can be happy with the choices God has for our lives even when they are hard….use it as an opportunity to reach others for Christ. Use it as an opportunity to encourage other Christians. Use it…that’s what God wants us to do with the “No’s” in our lives.
Thank You Father God for the “No’s” in my life. Thank You for using them to draw us closer to You in our marriage and in our lives. You have been so very good to us. Not only have you saved us, but Father You have poured so many blessing in our lives. You have given us way more than we deserve.
“When God Has Another Plan” by the Greenes