Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day 14: When God Says No

Jen FinalThere are many things for which I have asked God once or a few times.  Like I said in the previous posts, I sometimes have a hard time with perseverance when it comes to my prayer life.  But, for as long as I have known about God and prayer (we are talking decades here), I can remember praying that God would heal my hearing loss.  My most vivid memory is when I was in college and we were at some event with the youth group.  It was a healing service and the pastor leading it would say something like, "Is there someone here with a heart defect?"  And, of course, there would be and they would come up for healing.  I remember silently begging God and the pastor "Pick me.  Pick me.  Heal me.  Heal ME."

But the pastor didn't pick me, even though I had prayed desperately for decades and fervently in that sanctuary.  He didn't pick me simply because God didn't tell him to do so.  Because God was saying "no" to my request for healing.

God said no.  God said no.  Why does God have to say no?  Just as a two year old does not like to hear that word, neither does a 20 year old, and I begun to wonder why He did not fulfill my desire.  Did I not deserve it?  Was I unworthy?  Did He not love me enough?  Was He not listening?

But under all my disappointment, there was a question rumbling around in my soul:

Could this be for God's glory?  Will He use it for something bigger?  Will He use it to refine me?  As I began to ponder these questions, I realized that the tone of "no" was not harsh.  It was not a tone of denial or punishment.  It was more a tone of "That is not what is best for you.  As much I love you, I have something better for you than for what you are asking."  Now, as a grown-up 33 year old, I look back on my life and where I stand now, and I actually agree with God.  There are still times that I wish I didn't have this disability, but there are more times that I thank God for the opportunities that it has given me.

Now there are other things in my life that God said "no" to that I haven't handled as gracefully.  Like when my grandmother got cancer for the fourth time.  I guess even 33 year olds still have trouble with the word "no" sometimes...But the truth is, deep down, I see how He used her illness and I rest in the fact that she was ultimately healed.

Challenge:  What are some of the things to which God has said "no" in your life?  How did you feel when you heard that answer?  How do you feel about it now?  Ask God for revelation as to why He didn't grant your request.  Can you see new possibilities as to why He answered you in that way?

Don't forget about these amazing authors of other "31 Days Closer to..." series:


  1. I have come to a more peaceful place with "no" since I had kids. There are times when my kids want something desperately and I know it's not good for them, but in their 5 and 4 year old minds they don't understand why not and even try to negotiate. But I'm bigger and older and more experienced in life and know that it's not a good thing. I still love them and desperately want to make them happy, but I can't give them what they want. I think I'm like that with God. My vision is limited, I don't understand his "no" but He does, and He loves me, and He wants me to be happy, but what I'm asking is simply not what I need.
    Being a parent has been a great mirror for God to me. Maybe there is a blog post in there...hmmm. If time allows!

  2. Hi Jen
    Its true what you say. No doesn't necessarily mean what we think it means. As moms how many times have we said no to our kids but not to spoil their fun or quench their spirit, but more because we know what's best for them. Doesn't stop us acting like kids ourselves with God every now and then though! Love your post.
    God bless, Tracy

  3. I appreciate the posts in this series. If you read through my blog you'll see that prayer is a subject on my mind as well, praying with perseverance. In addition I've heard this message from the pulpit over and over again recently....I guess the Lord is teaching me something here!
    One thing I have been praying for for years, and the Lord has always closed the door and said, no - is for a family, a husband, and babies. It's what I want more than anything, but so far hasn't been God's will for me. Even though it has been a trial, and at times has been very painful, yet I do see good things the Lord has taught me through this. I'm trying to learn to want His will, to wait patiently on His timing, remembering that He is good.
    So thanks for this reminder!
    Have a blessed day,

  4. I did not know that you had hearing loss, Jen. I have several dear friends that deal with this as well. There is so much in life, that we just take for granted.

    Are you enjoying doing the 31 day series?


  5. Thank you for a new outlook on least favorite answer ;) It is such a hard answer to hear....especially from Him. I always ponder that desires of my heart verse and ask Him how does that fit with Your answer...and somehow He shows me it does....even if I still sometime wish for another answer there is still the remembering...He knows best and He has an amazing plan.

  6. Jen,

    I remember the first time I read that you had a hearing loss. I was so surprised. I'm not sure why. I guess because I just never read any mention of it from you. It was kind of like saying you have blonde hair. Just a fact. I like how you delved into this deeper and shared about you praying for healing and praying for Him to pick you. I think it's hard when we pray for things that we truly heart and sould want and we just can't see the whole picture and the reasons why God isn't providing.

    Yes, I see an example of this in my life in a real and big way.

  7. Jen, this is such a great, hard subject. We like to think about 'hearing from God' in all the positive ways...but who wants to accept 'No' as His answer???

    Another thing I'm learning-the-hard-way about His 'no' answer, is that I may never understand the WHY, or perceive it as 'all working out.' When all things work together for good, it is for Kingdom-Good, and not necessarily MY present-good, or my comfort, or my logic. The hardest thing I'm learning about God's 'no' answer? I don't have to understand it; I just have to stop my hollerin' & whinin' and TRUST. Argh - easier said than done!
    Thanks for these insights, Jen - keeping us focused on Him!
    Teri @ StumblingAroundInTheLight


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