The Theology of No
Have you ever asked God for something, imagined with Him how great it would be, all the good it could do, only to have Him say “no” ?
It’s hard to keep our spiritual heads on straight when that happens, isn’t it? We catch ourselves thinking “Lord, you said…” and quote the verses we’ve been claiming. “I really thought this would honor You. How come?!” “I don’t GET it!”
The moments after “No” —or days, maybe weeks— reveal a lot about our view of God, our theology. I’ve found over the years that one of two things happens after “no”. Either I stay just like I am and God becomes smaller in my thinking or God remains God and I become less, realizing my thoughts of late have not been His thoughts.
I’ve come to deliberately choose the latter when it happens. God always has been, is, and always will be God.
His no’s are always related to the famous five W questions; who, what, when, where and why.
Not you. I have someone else in mind for that task, or I have someone else I want you to serve with, someone else for you to be your life partner, business partner, associate, etc. I’m sorry, but it’s not you.
Not that. I have something else in mind for you, my child, something you will appreciate and enjoy more than this one — once you see it.
Not now. I know I’m never early by your clock but I’m never late, either. Keep trusting me. Don’t lose heart. I will take care of you, probably not the way you expect me to.
Not there. I need you somewhere else, and I hope you’ll be as eager to follow me there as you were to go with me where you’ve been considering. But it isn’t there. I’ll show you when the time comes.
And I know it’s hard, but I’m not giving you all the reasons. Not yet. You’ll be able to see some of the whys as you look back on things, but not all. Eventually, from Heaven’s shore you’ll be able to, but by then you’ll be with me and all this won’t matter as much. but I know right now it’s huge. Trust me. Stick close to me. I know exactly what I’m doing. –GOD–
Don’t let God become a disappointment when He says no. I can tell you first-hand the results of thinking that way are devastating. It’s impossible to worship a disappointment.
Look to Him. Look for His eyes. Anticipate His look of love. Ask Him to carry you through this. That’s what childlike faith does, and we know how God feels about that!