“Regardless of what it takes to get within the will of God, the price to get there will never outweigh the reward for being there.” -Jennifer Morgan 11/5/10 I don’t even remember what we were talking about when she said this to me, but we were sitting in church and as soon as she said it I made her repeat it so I could put it in my Bible. I remember that clearly. It made such an impression on me because 1. She cares about being in God’s will and 2. She wouldn’t just tell me to do something hard, without having been there herself. In fact, she has told me a lot of hard things that she has learned from experience. And is still learning. If I ask her to pray for something, I know she isn’t going to necessarily pray the way I want her to. She is going to pray the way the Lord wants her to. And we all know how that goes. His prayers don’t always line up with ours. But I know that when my heart is too heavy to form words, that doesn’t matter because He knows the words. And I’ve seen her on her knees begging and pleading with God for me, even when she doesn’t have the words. I don’t understand why, she must love me or something. I know sharing your story here was not easy, Jennifer. Thank you for your example to me.
We’ve all heard and seen it, it happens all the time. A child is told “no” so they fall to the floor kicking and screaming because they want what they want, they want it their way and anything outside of that is unacceptable. The child will refuse to be comforted, will refuse to even move or go on until they receive what they want – inevitably what they get is disciplined or punished for their disobedience. Now we may stand back and laugh at this situation when it happens to others, but when it happens in our own family it isn’t so funny. Even yet when it happens to us we fail to recognize that we are responding the same way a child does. What do I mean?
~When God Says No~
Why is it we all perfectly understand parents that tell children “no”? We know that the child is being protected by loving parents with the child’s best interest in mind. However, when God’s answer is “no” our thoughts rush to ‘God is isn’t fair’ or ‘He doesn’t really care for me’. My life long struggle has been this very thing. My hearts desire has been to be married with six children, to cook and to clean, and to teach, to hug chubby babies, and to have someone to love me and hold me and to want to be with me ’til the day I die. God’s answer in short: No.
The first few years of this “no” were painful, because I wasted them. Like a child, I refused to go on. I sat down in disbelief that God would tell me no. I got depressed, contemplated suicide, because how could God expect a person to live a life unloved? How many verses had I quoted to Him that His decision was wrong? “God, You said it wasn’t good for man to be alone; God, You said You would give me the desire of my heart; God, You said two is better for they have help and heat”…..it just goes on and on…..But God has a purpose in His no.
Think about this – Joseph begged and pleaded for his brothers to not sell him into slavery, Joseph asked to not be forgotten by the butler…but he was for 2 full years. Joseph had wanted to go home but had to leave instructions to bring his bones out of Egypt. God’s answer was “no”. We all jump in and say, “Well we all know why – God was going to save His people through Joseph.” Yes, that’s true, but Joseph didn’t know that through his many years of slavery and imprisonment. Yet – Joseph served God from out of where he was at even though he didn’t know the end result. He did what he could; whether it was to clean a floor, or to serve a fellow prisoner, Joseph pressed on. By this one man’s life many were saved from death, but most importantly – the person that was saved through all of this…was Joseph. Joseph willing to lose his life to serve God…gained a life He could have never imagined. I believe the pivotal moment in Joseph’s life was when Potipher’s wife tempted him. Do you know what would have happened if Joseph had said ‘Okay, I will’? Joseph would have more than likely been found out and killed or he would have remained a slave to sin his whole life, trying to cover what he had done. But that is what many will do today. God won’t give me what I want, so I’ll just take what I can get.
The choice, like Joseph, was I had to choose God regardless of the pain. I had to make the decision that I will serve and do right and trust God’s way is perfect, and know that in my heart He does all things well. He is my loving Father and what He has chosen for my life will help me reach others so that they might be saved. God has allowed me many opportunities to work for Him that I truly don’t deserve. I have gotten the privilege of hugging and holding many children along the way and telling them of God’s love. Why does God tell me “no”? In order to save my life and that through my “no”, others might be saved.
“He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” Matthew 10:39
So what are you doing with your “no”? Wallowing in self-pity? Yes, I have been there and may be again soon, but let me encourage you that even in your pain if you will choose to believe that God is right, then you, like Joseph, will do what you can for Him. Out of where you are, regardless of the task – Serve God.
Oh and one more thing. there is another important example of when God says “no”. This “no” saved us all.
“Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” Luke 22:42
Don’t waster your “no”.
Jennifer Morgan is involved in several ministries including the Children’s Church and Bus Ministry at her church, visitation to the elderly and widowed, and she volunteers to teach Bible lessons at Sweet Peas Learning Center every other week. She loves her Savior and she loves to make people laugh. She hopes to live her life so others see that Jesus does all things well.