When God Doesn’t Say “Yes”

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What do you do when you ask God for something big and He doesn’t say “yes?”

We did that three weeks ago. I told you how I was asking big for two things and we finished the thoughts with these words:

And perhaps what asking does for our hearts has less to do with getting what we want and more to do with believing our God is good and loves to give to us. Yes, maybe this is the work He longs to do in our hearts. We ask because He loves us.

Today I need to be back there because the answer was not “yes.” It was “no” or “not right now.” I need to be back there where the Person I asked is my good Father who holds all things together, all things for glory and good.

He said “no” or “not right now” and I see glimpses of how His ways might be better. But I needed that reminder this week, that He does have a plan and it will always be higher and better than mine.

But there were tears and the birth of jealousy and guilt. There was a bowl of queso and emotions I ate in the form of liquid cheese. And then there was peace, the first traces of the promise that nothing goes wasted and this will all be so small when He shows us all His work One Day.

I realize as the emotions fade:

It was easier to believe He would do
than it is to believe who He is.

It’s easy to think what He does from here on out speaks to His goodness. But such evidence may never be so clearly visible as that which He has already given.

His goodness is staked forever for mankind at the cross. Bitterness, it breaks there. And the cross invites me to believe despite my unbelief.

So these words fall just so today, from And It Was Good by Madeleine L’Engle.

[Abraham was] unhappy because he had no children, and he complained to God about this.

That’s another thing the heroes of the Old Testament have in common: whenever they are disturbed or upset they complain to God, loudly and uninhibitedly.

I am often surprised at the number of people who think it is somehow wrong to complain to God. When I complain to God, I don’t take it out on my family and friends. And when I complain to God, I am often shown what it is that I am really complaining about, and that I am being silly, or trivial, or selfish, or cowardly. Or that I am in deep trouble and it is right to turn to my Maker. When I vent my feelings on God, [He] will give me the courage, or other gifts I need that I might very well not have received if I had been too reticent to complain.

(Emphasis mine.)

The asking big, it kept me at the feet of Jesus. It consumed all my extra thoughts and brought them to the awareness of my utter dependence on Jesus to come through.

“I do believe; only help my unbelief,” I say through tears to trust.

And when the answer is “no” or “not now,” He invites me to believe His goodness because of the cross. “I do believe; only help my unbelief,” I say through tears to trust. He holds out His loving hand, and with eyes of mercy draws me in.

He holds me tight and promises. I AM with you always. He is what I’ve needed all along. And He is what I’ll never lose.

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Let’s keep asking, Beloved. Let’s keep asking for belief in His goodness. He will absolutely answer us.

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