“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” – Colossians 3:12-15 ESV
I very much dislike disciplining my toddler. I especially hate taking away the “thing” she refused to obey with and watching her eyes swell up and her mouth edges curve downward. It pains me to see her heart crushed when I snatch that “thing” she just deemed found treasure, because it’s unsafe. How do I easily explain to a toddler in her only-born-19-months-ago understanding that what she deems good is actually harmful?
It reminds me of our relationship with Our Heavenly Father. I’m certain that our heartbreak after hearing His “no,” also pains Him. But I also know, that He wouldn’t say “no” unless it was ultimately for our good.
Have you ever met someone so kind and uplifting that you were just simply amazed and blessed by them? Now think about this, that person is human and fallible. But The Lord is perfectly good and perfectly kind all the time. He is infallible. How much kinder is Our Heavenly Father than anyone we could’ve thought of? Can’t we be comforted by that truth even when we hear “no.”
I can recall praying for something that felt like “a sure thing.” However, I didn’t receive what I had anticipated and prayed for. I was disappointed and hurt. And more than that I was surprised that God didn’t give me what I wanted. But gratefully, The Holy Spirit led me to look at it all at a new angle. I changed my perspective and realized, what I wanted wasn’t really aligned with God. I ended up thanking God for His “no” because I realized that which seemed good for me was actually not good for me at all! Thank God for His no!
We live in a world that doesn’t want to hear “no.” We basically live in a society of adult temper tantrums. We are to teach our children to be obedient, but we live in a society where adults behave even worse! Though the world is filled with adult brats (am I allowed to call people brats as a Christian?), we as Christians must be above reproach if we want to make any imprint. That means even when we are mistreated, even when the promotion goes to the one with less experience, even when we end up in a fender-bender already late for work, even when the sales representative is rude, even when nothing seems to be going our way, we are to behave in a way that brings glory to Him. The Lord knows we live in a messed up world, and He still calls us to be like Him. We can only do this through Him. Be different because The One who died for you asks this of you. When everything seems to go wrong…trust Him. He has a plan and a purpose for you – hang on! And if He says no – trust Him – there’s something better is in store for you.
Help me to see your “no” as a redirection to something far better for me. Help me to trust you through whatever comes my way. Help me to behave in a way that will please you, even on the toughest of days, because you deserve both my heart and my character. Help me to be a light amongst a world so dim.
Thank you Father for the times you say no to me, I want only what is in accordance with Your Will.
In The Name of The One True King, Jesus,