We really don’t like that word.
No usually means that we’re not getting something that we want or something that we feel we’ve been promised. It usually leads to feelings of disappointment, frustration or in some cases betrayal.
I’m not immune from the feeling. In fact, just this morning I was praying about auditioning for a local murder mystery theatre production and felt God say “no.”
Not a “not right now” or a “maybe another time” but a flat out no.
My initial feelings were that of disappointment. I caught myself trying to reason with God. I’d tell him that I didn’t have a job right now so I had plenty of time. That it would give me an opportunity to use the gifts he’s given me in creativity and speaking and performing. It would allow me the chance to meet new people and perhaps open the door to talk to them about Jesus.
And then something interesting happened. In the midst of the bargaining, I felt peace starting to creep in. I stopped the pleading and realized that if God told me a flat out no to this situation it was because He has something else in mind that is going to be better for me, my family, my friends and most importantly for His glory.
I thought of times in my life when I didn’t seek Him first and started to do something only to see opportunities arise later that I had to turn down because of my initial commitment. Things I knew were wonderful things that God had brought my way and because I couldn’t “no” as an answer from Him I had to miss out on them.
So I went from pleading to praising God for the “no” and for the lesson within the no.
We don’t know the future. He does. We don’t know the grand plan. He does. We didn’t create the world and everyone in it. He did. If we can keep the mindset that God knows all and that He loves us, we can start to appreciate the “no” as much as the “yes” (and even the “not right now.”) Regardless of the words we receive as an answer, it all means that God is there guiding us and is going to bring the best for His kingdom out of our lives.
Do you struggle with God telling you no?