When God Says No


Is it inherent for sinful humans to hate the answer NO?


God has often answered YES to my prayers, but even with His indwelling Holy Spirit, it’s when He answers NO that I struggle. Like with our nation. I prayed long and hard for things to get better. And in some small ways, they do seem better, yet even more evil has come down the pike—because God answered NO. Reluctantly, I learned to live with His decision—I wasn’t happy—but the prayer wasn’t exactly personal either. I blew out a sigh, shrugged my shoulders, and my heart settled with this—God is in control.


And then came the past two weeks. I prayed fervently for my granddaughter, Jayne. She’s a ballerina who pulled a muscle at a crucial time in her training. This may not sound like a worthy prayer, but when God said NO, I felt like a child in a department store who doesn’t get the toy. So, I did what any self-respecting kid would do—I threw a temper tantrum.


My mind knows God will bring good out of this situation because she loves Him, and Scripture tells us He works all things out for our good.[1] Still, my heart hurts. My mind saw things going so differently. Immediately, God said, “I allowed this for a reason, and I will get the glory.”


Did His answer settle me? No, because God’s answer was still NO, and I really didn’t like it.


The situation took me right back to when my daughter, Lorrie, didn’t make it for cheerleader. At that time, my temper tantrum was much worse, but my frustration—so similar. Shame on me. After all these years, had I not grown in my faith?


I did pray or rather complained while I wallowed in my displeasure and insolence. But God took this moment to remind me of all the good He had brought in Lorrie’s life since that fateful day. So, I asked for wisdom and eyes to see His hand working in Jayne’s. Through these prayers, He halted my complaints, softened my attitude, and finally, I repented.


Like David, I prayed, “…Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin…Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice…Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”[2]


I had wanted my own way, and I told Him so, but God dragged me back. He led me to the Psalm I’ve used so many times in my Christian walk because I, like Paul, am the chief of sinners.[3] And to this prayer, God’s answer will always be YES—because it’s His Word and His Will.[4]


My heart still hurts. But yet again, I’ve resolved, God is in control. His love for Jayne is infinitely more perfect than ours, and He WILL get the glory.


Sunday, after church, I asked Jayne what she learned through this ordeal. She said to put God first in all things[5] and to trust Him even more in her trials.[6] Ahh—so very mature—I didn’t learn these lessons until I was married with two children.


My Lord used a devastating trial to teach this precious 16-year-old lessons she will need for a lifetime. At 16, I surely didn’t have that kind of faith. In fact, at that time, with my trials, I started pulling away from all things God. And after about 15 corrupted years, Jesus brought me back.[7] He removed the spiritual scales from my eyes[8] and made me His own.[9]


In my trials, I ran from God. But I will be eternally grateful Jesus drew Jayne closer through hers.

[1] Romans 8:28

[2] Psalm 51:1-10

[3] I Timothy 1:15

[4] II Peter 3:9

[5] Matthew 6:33

[6] Proverbs 3:5-6; I Peter 1:6-7

[7] Matthew 18:12-13; Luke 15:4

[8] Acts 9:18

[9] Isaiah 43:1


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