Thursday, August 03, 2006

When God Says No

I've prayed about the same problem for over seven years and God's answer has been a consistent no. I've spent many sleepless nights worrying about it, yet I know struggling through those long nights have taught me what it means to "trust in the Lord". God has sustained us, beyond what I thought possible and I have been thankful. I know that character and faith are built in trials and I am growing because of the nos (Is anyone else yawning yet?).

But last week I asked God, "Could the answer be yes yet? Could the solution be easy just this once?" I asked Him for the miracle I've wanted for seven years and asked Him if He could do it by August 5th (I don't know why this particular date, but it stuck in my head for some reason.) Is that bad, asking God for something in a certain time frame? I'm not sure, but I do know Jesus answered those who were persistent and bold. I did add that I understood His way was best and I would continue to trust Him no matter what. I've tried to wait expectantly, because when we ask we are to believe and not doubt (James 1), but I've also not gotten my hopes up. I have experience hearing His nos.

In high school I spent many nights praying for a boyfriend and God kept saying no. Though it crushed my heart then, I actually see the benefit of that one now. He was right. I was better off in the long run. Good call, God!

I've spent a lifetime asking Him to make me skinny. I've gotten a lot of nos on that one, but I sort of see a bigger plan in play here. If I was what I wanted to be physically, I may have never come to God in the first place. I'd be way more self-centered than I already am. Dealing with weight issues has slowly taught me discipline and denying myself (still working on these, of course)--good qualities in a servant.

The toughest blow I ever got was when my parents divorced. I prayed for them for twenty years and it took me a while to get over His resounding NO. But even though my world came crashing in for a little while, I survived one of my greatest fears. God showed me He was God. He told me I didn't need to understand why. He listened to me cry and whispered, "Trust Me."

Then a couple days ago I woke up feeling down, wanting to sense God's presence more than usual. I asked Him to let me see Him in a way I never had before. I asked for a fresh filling of His Spirit. I asked Him to show Himself big and unmistakable. I waited all day, scrutinizing perfect strangers, looking for His touch in every encounter, but nothing unusual happened. Why? I was sincere. I was expecting Him. My eyes were wide open. His answer this time seems to be, "Haven't I given you enough already? Do I really have to put on a show for you to trust Me?" He reminded me of John 20:29, "Then Jesus told him, 'Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'"

So I'm not sure how to approach this new request for a yes. I'm not assuming He'll answer no, but I'm not putting all my eggs in the yes basket either. Do you think He understands that? I laid the prayer out there and I'm waiting to see what He'll do. Thy will be done, Lord. If August 6th comes around and nothing has happened I'm not going to abandon God. I will not pout or scream "no fair!" (well, at least not in public). Yes, I may be disappointed, but I won't doubt God's existence or His love for me. I won't stop asking for bold things either. One of these days the answer's got to be yes and if I never ask, I'll never get it.


Kara Bird said...

That "N" word just doesn't seem like much fun. This was a great reminder to me to be persistent though. I think sometimes I get lazy. :) Thanks for sharing your questions as well as your great insights with us!

Dena said...

i dont agree with you, ha!, just kidding. no one likes to hear "no", but i think we need to hear that one more than we need to hear "yes".