Week 19: Monday – Appreciating God’s “NO”

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Appreciating God’s “No”

 

I think the greatest foolishness of man is thinking he knows exactly what he needs.

That’s where the darkest of spiritual problems spring from. We despair. Because we never seem to get what we want. And we secretly fume. Our mouths praising the Lord for the sake of those who observe how we live. But our hearts doubting Him to the core.

It is not so hard to understand and relate to, I guess.

When we ask for sunshine and the rain relentlessly pours.

When we ask for refreshing rains and the sun beats unmercifully upon our backs.

We may not say it out loud but in the secret recesses of our beings, we begin to resent God’s ways. A line from an old song of Twila Paris is really true:

“I know the doctrine and theology,

but right now they don’t mean much to me…”

Our declaration of faith and unending Love to our God will be tested in the furies of fire.  It is where the impurities are revealed. You thought you’re the hero of all believers. The greatest martyr of all martyrs. You emotionally profess your devotion to God in front of His altar almost reciting from the prayer memoirs of David Livingstone,

 

“God, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me,

only sustain me. And sever any tie in my heart except

the tie that binds my heart to Yours.”

 

But overtime, as the “severing of ties” and “laying of burdens” turn up, you realize that there are SEASONS in our faith. SEASONS in our commitments. Where is the fire that so ardently burned in my heart? You ask.

Where is Your goodness to me? We cry out.

 

The greatest of all comforts in such situations comes from the fact that through this dark season of doubts, you and I realize how foolish it is to think that we are standing firm just because we can… And that how foolish it is to judge other people in their weakness, how childish it is to complain about others’ flaws. Because right now, the MIRROR of life is right in front of you. And the Light of God is shining over you, showing the unfiltered reflection of your true state, and how LOVING, how FORGIVING, how GRACIOUS God has been in embracing that person in YOU…

 

We all need to be brought down to those valleys from time to time, to keep us grounded and humble. And the Father knows exactly the times when to bring you there for a good, long walk. And when He does, there is a renewed appreciation of what He has done for you… that it’s only by GRACE… and nothing else.

 

The outcome of such encounters is a rarity, for the forging of a golden and compassionate heart happens there. And little by little, you begin to see LIFE and PEOPLE as God sees them. Something you don’t learn just by reading books and devotionals like this in fancy gadgets.

 

So today, as He “violently” says NO to your supplications, choose the TRUTH. TRUST. Choose FAITH. Choose WORSHIP. Never go to the danger zone, the choice to DOUBT that HE IS GOOD forever.

Today, hang in there. When all else seems to fail, even your heart, don’t panic. Remember that it is God who is holding your hand firmly. Not the other way around.

 

“My flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is the strength of my heart…”

– Psalm 73:26

 

And God Said “No”

 

I asked God to take away my pride,

And God said, “No.”

He said it was not for Him to take away,

But for me to give up…

 

I asked God to grant me patience,

And God said, “No.”

He said patience is a by-product of tribulation.

It isn’t granted, it is earned.

 

I asked God to give me happiness,

And God said, “No.”

He said He gives blessings,

Happiness is up to me.

 

I asked God to spare me pain,

And God said, “No.”

He said, “Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares

and brings you closer to Me.”

 

I asked God to make my spirit grow,

And God said, “No.”

He said I must grow on my own,

But He will prune me to make it fruitful.

 

I asked God if He loved me,

and God said, “Yes.”

He gave me His only Son, who died for me.

And I will be in Heaven someday

Because….I believe.

 

I asked God to help me love others

As much as He loves me,

And God said,

“Ah finally, you have the idea.”

by Claudia Minden Welsz

 

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