My kids hate the word “No”, and frankly so do I. I don’t like to have to tell them no but sometimes it’s what’s best for them. No, you can’t have another cookie. No, you can’t play in traffic. Those are obvious, but some “no’s” are more complicated. No, you cannot have an Iphone. Why? well, because I don’t feel it would benefit you at this point in your young life and it would introduce possible dangers to your life. They cannot understand that. They think I am being a mean ogre. I feel that way with some of God’s “No’s”.
Sometimes when God says no I can look back later and realize why he said no and I am thankful. Like when we were married just a few years and living in a studio basement apartment and wanted God to give us a child. I mean really? Where were we planning on putting that child? I look back and am thankful God said “no”, until we moved into a house with more space. I can accept that. But when we asked for healing for a friend and it didn’t come, or when we asked for another baby and instead God allowed us to miscarry, yet again. I cannot understand those types of “No”. I know that God knows why these things happen and He has our best in mind, but on this side of heaven sometimes you just cannot ever understand.
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace. So, the story is that three hebrew men were asked to bow down and worship idols. They refused and said they would only worship God. The king gave them one more chance and then was going to throw them into the fiery furnace. This is what they said.
16-18 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, “Your threat means nothing to us. If you throw us in the fire, the God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up, O king. But even if he doesn’t, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference, O king. We still wouldn’t serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.” Daniel 3: 16-18
I like that because they knew God could say yes to them and save them from the fire, but they also said, “but even if He doesn’t, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference”. I want to have faith like that. I want to be able to say that I asked God for something in my life but even if he says, “no”, I doesn’t matter and won’t affect my faith at all. I’m not there yet.
Our daughter is struggling right now. She has been struggling since we brought her home from Hong Kong last year. We have tried all kinds of things to get her to attach to us and it’s just not working. She is tolerant of my husband but has an irrational hatred for me and we have no idea why. We have prayed and prayed and asked God to change her heart and so far, he has not. I cannot understand why he would allow us to be in this position. I cannot understand why He doesn’t change her. It’s really difficult on all of us to deal with and her as well. It can’t be fun living in constant turmoil like she does. I don’t know why God is allowing this. But I want to have enough faith to say, “God I know you can change her, but if you don’t, it doesn’t matter. ” That’s hard. Really hard.
It reminds me of Paul. He says that, “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Yikes! He asked God to take the thorn away from him and God said, “No”. I feel like that. I feel like God is allowing this thing in our lives to change us, but man, I don’t like it. I just want him to take it away and for things to be simple.
People ask me all the time why on earth we are having another child when we have this difficult situation? Well, simply because God told us to. He told us to have another child, even though it didn’t make sense to me. He promised this child would bring healing to our situation. I don’t know how that will happen, but I have a feeling it’s not in the way I think it should be. I doubt that Luke being born is going to magically cause our daughter not to hate me anymore. What I have come to realize is that Luke is helping me deal with the pain it causes me to constantly have a child who dislikes me. It’s a great distraction and I think that is likely how the healing will come. Who knows? I have faith God can fix this situation, but if He doesn’t, I have faith that He is doing what is best for us. Even if I don’t feel like that.