I haven't been posting as much, lately--I know. But I've been having a sort of mini revival--all thanks to recently discovering anew that God's No is not the same as God's frown. I suddenly feel so loved and protected, in spite of all the No's I've had.
God's No is not such a bad thing, I've been discovering. But No is not a word we normally enjoy or appreciate.
Think of it: when you were a child and you reached out for something and heard a severe "No!" it was probably not an enjoyable experience. There might have been a No to dessert, a No to getting a toy, a No to going to a party. We remember the No's. And yes, of course, your parents (hopefully) said No to protect you: No to touching hot stoves, No to walking alone at Night, No to staying past curfew, etc etc. But still, a No is not a word we heartily embrace.
The word "No" has gotten a bad rep. And lately I've been discovering that when God says No, He might just be saying "I love you too much to let you go through that door....at least right now." Sometimes No is "Not yet" and sometimes God's No is a resounding Alarm not too unlike the clanging fire alarm that goes off because a call comes into the local fire station that some bo-bo has set their kitchen on fire because they had their dish towel too close to the stove (I have never done that, but I have set my hair on fire when I leaned too close to the candle, once. But no fire truck was needed, thank you).
When God says No it could often mean an indirect Yes to something else--something you don't YET have in mind, but God does. God always has your Best in mind when He answers you. Because He knows the plans He has for you (Jer. 29:11).
Lately I've had a renewed enthusiasm in coming to God in prayer and discovering that I really don't care whether he says No or nods Yes--I just care that He cares, that He bends down to listen to me...and that His Answer is always perfect, always in my best interest. Sometimes it takes me awhile to figure out His answer.
But one thing I know for sure: I'm begining to appreciate and love the No and the Nod of God...because I know that He loves me.