When God says no…

Or at least, in the present moment, it appears to be no.

And we don’t understand, and our wanting and begging just won’t stop.

Yet it seems like Heaven’s ears are plugged and our pleading in prayer makes no difference.

We stoop bewildered under the apparent blow, the burden to bear bearing down hard.

Asking why?

Why this and not that?

Why later {if at all} and not now?

And how in all the world do we reconcile the facts that God is good all the time and delights in giving his children good gifts?

There in lies the crux.

The crux of the Cross. Our redemption and His plan for our life.

Faith, and hoping for things unseen…

Not necessarily a life of ease, but a life of easing our grip, releasing our control of our own lives.

Of letting go of thinking that we know what is best for us.

Of what we think {or want} in this moment is best for us. At present. Close up of our lives not revealing the broad reaching vista that only God can see. The big picture as painted by His hand. The later on and yet to be, where He already is.

But just suppose, for a moment, that in all our praying and pleading for some one particular thing or outcome…

In all our crying and worrying late into the night…

In even, perhaps, our momentary anger when things don’t go our way…

What if we could stop all that restless fussing and just rest?

Lay it all down. Put it all aside, and open our hearts to that grand, eternal heart of Heaven.

Always good, He is!

Even when we are blind to that truth and our heart screams the opposite.

And try to understand that the best for us is learning to love well, and becoming more like Jesus who gave His sacred, sinless life for us on the Cross.

What Jesus accomplished at Calvary may not have looked like a particularly good thing on that dark day to those who loved him dearly.

But is was indeed God’s best for us.

And when we pick up our own crosses, they can be hard to bear and we balk at the bulk of the weight on our shoulders.

Weighing us down when we stop looking up. Needing to exchange with Jesus, His yoke for ours.

But how else can we practice the virtues God wants to develop in us? All those fruits of the spirit, like so many apples heavy on the bough in the orchards at harvest. Golden and delicious.

But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Galatians 5:22-23 The Message

He is producing in us a crop of righteousness that grows extremely well in soil watered with the tears of our suffering.

And that is why James tell us to Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
James 1: 2-4 The Message

And like the colors of the changing leaves falling down, God uses the pressure cooker of life’s situations to reveal our true colors.How we think, speak and react to a person, circumstance or hurt in life tells more about our level of maturity and relationship to our Savior than any number of bible verses memorized or Sunday services attended.

And then Paul reminds us to continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
Romans 5: 3-5 The Message

Sometimes, I think, God needs to leave us right where we are.

For a season.

But seasons change. And each season has it’s purpose under the sun. And the Son will tend the garden of our hearts. Planting good seed even during a season of drought or torrential storm.

And prayers seemingly unanswered, are truly answered with His best for us.

But our eyes can cloud with the dust from the fields where we think we toil in vain. Yet what lies buried in the warm, dark soil unseen will one day blossom to produce plenty of good.

So let us not weary when we now see only dimly through the glass.

Rather let’s respond in faith strong and love burning hot, and let His perfect ways have their way in us. Even when it hurts, bewilders or stretches us uncomfortably.

And one fine day, when all the goings on here are said and done and all has been made brand new, we will know that the end from the beginning was incredibly worth the journey of a thousand miles with all its cuts and scrapes along the way.

Looking back, we will say with glad hearts, that the most amazing vistas our hearts ever beheld were in the shadow lands as we held out our hand and firmly grasped His, yielding.

And we will know deep in our hearts that His promises are Yes and Amen!

If only we will have the faith to believe one day at at time…



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2 thoughts on “When God says no…

  1. As always, beautiful pics to help illustrate a great message.

    This past weekend we buried my father-in-law. For months we prayed for healing, but the healing we prayed for didn’t come. Something better came…he got to go to heaven!
    God answered our prayers, just not how we had hoped, but that doesn’t diminish who God is. He knew what was best for all involved.
    While we still ache from the loss, God is still God and He is good…all the time!