'No' is what earned our dog a Good Canine Citizen award. He was not born with a leash. We had to buy it, attach it, and learn how to use it. With each tug on the leash and a firm 'no' he learned how to control his behavior. That earned him to the right to become a therapy dog, to bless others.
Recently I was challenged to say 'yes' to God's 'no'.
While shopping for a blouse I decided to try on a pair of black pants. They fit well and were on sale at a good price. As I headed for the check out the Lord spoke to my heart, "Put them back".
I reasoned with the Lord that I only had one good pair of black pants and I wanted a backup pair for speaking just in case something happened to that pair at the last minute.
"Put them back."
Disappointed, I put the slacks back on the rack. It made no sense to me.
A while later I was packing for a week long conference. To make packing easy I decided to match all my good tops with black so that I would only need one nice pair of slacks during the week. What a shock when I arrived at the hotel and unpacked. Everything I needed for the week was there, EXCEPT my black slacks!
I made do with my casual khakis for day one then decided to skip a talk the next morning and head for my favorite store. At that point I realized that I had left my store credit card at home along with a 30% off coupon!
I quickly found a pair of black slacks (on sale!) and headed toward the register. It was at that point that I remembered saying 'yes' to God's 'no' a few month's earlier. He knew I would need to buy a second pair of black slacks during the conference. By obeying God back then I was spared the agony of buying an unneeded third pair of black slacks that day. I thanked the Lord for His goodness as I put my slacks on the counter. And the cashier graciously gave me 30% off my purchase!
I grew up thinking God's vocabulary consisted of one word - no. But I have come to realize that He is a loving heavenly Father who delights in giving us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4).
But we have to learn His timing is perfect.
His 'no' is meant to bless us. We may not understand at the moment, but given enough time we often see His wisdom in retrospect. His ways are not our ways; His thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).
- Can we trust that if our prayer is not yet answered that His 'no' or His 'wait' is really a blessing?
- Can we thank Him for His 'no' blessing?