Understanding “No”

August 11, 2008 at 6:17 am (Flowers of Thought) (, , , , )

I cried myself to sleep the other night and woke up feeling like I’d been hit by a train. Slowly I opened my eyes to discover they were not swollen, and then climbed out of bed to fix an early breakfast. As I worked, the thought came to me: No is not a punishment. The force of this simple statement hit me with the power of a speeding locomotive. No is not a punishment. It’s not a divine spanking when the Lord says “no”. It’s not something to be dreaded. His plans always work out—for the good of those who love Him. For Him to answer my prayers with a “no” should not cause me tears, it should not disturb me or make me miserable. It should bring me peace, knowing that the Lord has heard and answered. And whatever He has is better. Don’t say it tritely. Really listen. I thought what I wanted was good. The Lord said, “No, I’ve got something better in mind. Because you are called according to My purpose.” Where is my cause for sorrow? Where is my excuse for depression? Where is my reason for pitying myself? When the Lord says “no” it is not a punishment, just a redirection. He’s simply blocking me off from the wrong direction and heading me in the right direction again.

Chains fell off my heart and mind. For the first time in a long time I felt completely freed of a burden that had been growing heavier and heavier. Anything to which the Lord says “no” is simply not what He has for me now, and I can accept that joyfully as His loving protection. The rest of the day I floated around on the joy of knowing I am a daughter of the King and my heart is like water in His hands, to turn wherever He wishes.

Later, I passed a picture of a much younger Abigail, reposing placidly on the bookshelf in the library. “Little girl,” I sought to advise the innocent-eyed child. “Life is hard. Living is dangerous. Loving is risky. The only true reward is in the Lord. Pursue Him.”

Lord, may I ever, always be
Content to know Thy will for me.
And when I know Thy will in full
Pursue it gladly, heart and soul.

And when Thy will seems distant still
Remind me, waiting, is Thy will.
And when Thy will is dim or worse
Remind me to pursue Thee first.

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