There is a saying that I’m sure most of you have heard before that says when we pray, God answers in YES, NO or WAIT. We are all overjoyed when we get an immediate YES to our request. Most of us can endure long enough for the WAIT. But what do we do when God says no?
I believe our response to the NO is in direct proportion to our faith in God. If we truly trust Him and believe that He has our best interest at heart, we can take heart in the NO, understanding that His plan is so much better for us than our plans for ourselves. I have to admit I have been grappling with this heavily over the past few days. Over the weekend, I found out that my last boyfriend proposed to the woman he was dating prior to me. It wouldn’t have been so hurtful if we hadn’t just had a conversation two days prior where he was expressing his love for me. It wouldn’t be so confusing if I had never been so absolutely sure about us. If I hadn’t been praying and standing in faith that things would eventually work out I’d probably be fine. If I didn’t have confirmation after confirmation I wouldn’t be left wondering what happened or where I missed God. But apparently God has another plan.
I have had my moments of being in faith and out. Confused and at peace. Angry, sad and hurt. It isn’t always easy to accept NO. I mean, who wants to hear it? But God’s infinite wisdom always prevails and we must take heart in that. The one thing that has kept me from coming totally unglued is my faith that what God has for me is for ME and nothing that is meant for me will somehow escape me.
I believe when God says NO, He is protecting us from something, preparing us for something, or progressing us into something greater. Right now, I personally can’t see what those things are. But I have faith that no matter what, all things work together for my good and I will not be put to shame for believing in Him. This is the posture all believers should take. It keeps us humble, from passing judgment, from being angry, or from thinking we know best.
I had to repent the other day. I had judged the situation from my limited perspective and placed my thoughts and feelings above the knowledge of God and faith in the divine. It is tempting to do this when God says no. But the ultimate place of trusting God is knowing that faith never makes sense. It is in that place that you can come to rest and say it is well. No matter what, surrendering in the face of NO is wise. You can be tempted to make things happen in your own strength and on your own time and we know nothing can come of that but a disaster. When God says no, you need only stand still and wait for the YES you so desperately desire.