My 3 year old would survive on nothing but crackers if I let her. To say she is a picky eater is an understatement at the very least. She would be the happiest little girl in the world, if only I’d stop pushing disgusting vegetables (oh, the horror!) and chewy meat (oh, urp!) at her, at every dinner. And, well, to be honest, I’d probably be happier too, because then we could forgo the tears, and forced gaging that ensues when we encourage her to eat 3 bites of any meal.
But the reality is, that while her mood would undoubtedly be better, her body would indeed suffer in the long run.
As her mamma, I am more concerned with her health, than her mood,
It occurred to me the other day how this is not dissimilar to how our heavenly Father cares for us. We want “crackers” all day long. But perhaps he says “no”. Maybe he nudges the plate of “vegetables” a little closer, while the “crackers” are getting harder and harder to reach.
How many times have I sought something in prayer, without really knowing, or considering the long-term effects of my request?
How many times have I pushed him for my will be done, not his?
The startling truth is, that I am not so different from my three year old. Sometimes, I am after that which is not ultimately what is best for me. And sometimes, God says “No”.
He loves me by offering up something better, his best, for my best.
When I stop sulking and get down to it, I recognize that his “no’s” are a blessing, a gift, because it means he is sparing me from something outside of his will. No matter what it is I think I want, I want more to be in his will. The awesome thing about God’s “no”, I have discovered, is that really, it is a “yes” to something else, something better. So I give thanks for the “no’s”, reminding myself that Abba knows best and he will provide everything I need to navigate this life.
Learning to accept his “no’s” is not easy. And sometimes, like my three-year old I cry big crocodile tears, and maybe even stomp my pretentious foot at him.
I have to constantly remind myself that while I cannot see the future, He can. And he KNOWS what I need.
And let me just say, It’s not usually “crackers” all day long. I need the fiber and vitamins of the “greens”. I need the “water” that refreshes and nourishes, unlike the milkshake or Soda that provides instant flavor but ultimate weakness to the body. His “no” reminds me that indeed He has a better plan for me. I like to look at his “no’s” as more of a “yes”. It’s a “yes” to something else. And I’m all for that, considering he made the universe, I pretty much trust him to lead the way.
Thank God for the times he says “no”. Give thanks for his ultimate provisions, disguised as withholdings.
And my God shall supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (ESV)
Where is God saying “yes” to you today?
Do you have the discipline to thank him for it, even if it feels more like a “no”?
By: Kris Camealy, Always Alleluia