What’s your first thought when God says no?
- Sour grapes? What you were asking for probably wasn’t any good anyway.
- Temper tantrum? God never really loved you or listened to you in the first place.
- Quiet acceptance? God knows what is best and wants to bless you with it, so whatever happens is okay with you.
- Something different?
Choices in Montana
When we moved to Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, we were given the choice of two houses.
The first was an old house with wood floors, large drafty windows, and lead paint in the basement. But it was available immediately. This was such a stellar house that when we moved out two and a half years later, they demolished the whole neighborhood and rebuilt it.
The second was an almost brand new house with a little more square footage and carpet in the bedrooms and living room. Many of the homes were built on cul-de-sacs, so the kids could more safely play outside with bikes and scooters. But it wouldn’t be available for nine months.
I really wanted that nice, new house. But finances were a huge concern and I couldn’t justify living on the local economy at a higher rental rate. So, we moved into that drafty, lead paint house.
The New House Invades My Life
It wasn’t long before we found a church, and I started making new friends. And it wasn’t long before I realized that one of my new friends lived in one of those nice, new houses.
Yes, I was jealous.
But one day I noticed that one of the houses near her had yellow caution tape wrapped around its porch. As time passed, I noticed more yellow caution tape. And then moving trucks that moved people out, but never anyone in.
I finally asked and found out that those beautiful new homes were being condemned. And many of the people moving out were not PCSing, but were moving into the old, drafty homes like mine.
You see, the contractor who had built the neighborhood had never properly backfilled the land. He never prepared the soil to receive the foundations. So as the weight of the house settled on the land, the land shifted and the foundation broke.
When God said no to us having a nice, new house, He was protecting us from two moves in a very short space of time.
God Says No A Lot
It seems like God says no a lot.
- Sarai didn’t get a yes answer to her prayers for a child. At least until she was past child-bearing years.
- Hannah, the mother to the prophet Samuel, similarly heard no from God for many years on her prayers for children.
- When many great men of faith asked for a way out rather than have to obey God’s instructions, they all heard, “No.” Men like Moses who didn’t want to go to Egypt and Jonah who didn’t want to go to Ninevah.
- Although they asked God for another way, when He said, “No,” Jesus went to the cross, Peter went to a Gentile’s home, and Paul stayed out of Asia.
But doesn’t a good parent say no?
Doesn’t a parent who can see the bigger picture look ahead of a child and place limits that will direct them in healthy ways?
Your response to God’s no really is an indication of what you believe about God: Is He good, or not? Is He paying attention to you, your dreams, your plans, and your desires? Or not?
Does He love you? Or not? That’s the real issue that your heart needs to address.
It’s okay to be disappointed when God says no. It’s okay to ask God why — although He doesn’t owe you an answer. Just don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a negative answer is a negative experience.
It may be the best experience you could ever hope for.
Are you moving within the next six-months??
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