As babies, one of the first words we learn to say is “no.” In fact, this negative reply quickly becomes a regular part of our vocabulary. However, the fact that this simple two-letter word is universally understood by people of various ages, cultures, and backgrounds doesn’t make it any easier to digest. Whether you hear it from a parent, a boss, or a spouse, the word “no” is usually not a response we welcome with open arms.
Even more difficult than receiving a “no” from someone close to us is receiving it from God. When you fervently pray for Him to intervene on your behalf – whether it is for something as significant as healing or as insignificant as a break in traffic – the answer “no” can be disappointing. In our disappointment, we often fail to remember that God’s got everything under control.
Throughout life, we will encounter circumstances and situations that turn out much different than we originally imagined or planned. When we find ourselves in the midst of these trying times, it can feel as if we are being punished or are being prevented from doing something. Ultimately, hindsight will reveal that God’s plans are better than our own.
In Proverbs 16:9 we are reminded that, “A man’s heart devises his way: but the Lord directs his steps.” God’s gifts to us can sometimes enter our lives as difficulties, frustrations, and pain. Much like a parent may tell a toddler “no” to keep them safe and help them learn and grow, a negative response from the Lord prepares us for something positive. Through these “no” answers, we can reach a higher level in our spiritual life and a deeper dependence upon Him. Encouraging, yes?
VantagePoint Church meets at Roosevelt High School on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.