When God Says No

There are times in your life when you just need to sit and think for awhile. That's why I'm here this morning. I actually started this post last week, but never finished it. I just couldn't. I'll try again today. After my post about the house, we finally have the answer we've been waiting for. For those of you who want the 411, we got an offer about 3 weeks after putting it on the market. Last time, after waiting for 10 months and getting nothing for efforts, this is nothing less than a miracle. We then submitted a counteroffer (twice), only to have it rejected (twice).

So, it appears that the Lord's answer for us right now is NO. After trying what we could to make our house more salable, following all possible leads, and even sending in another counter offer to the potential buyers, it all ended up the same way. No.

When my husband told us that our counter offer was refused, I wasn't sure what to feel anymore. We have been on a roller coaster---up and down, up and down---that I think I shut it out. You've ever done that before? It just has become too much.

Which is why I am here this morning. It's time to come to terms with what God has chosen for us. It's hard not to question God and ask why. My teenage daughter commented, "It feels like God has dangled a carrot in front of us and then yanked it away." It sure does, sweetheart. Now what do we do?

Rather than cast God in the role of an evil tormentor laughing sadistically at us, I need to go back to the truth. Psalm 118:29 says, "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."  John 10:11---"I am the good shepherd." The fact is, God is good!

Another fact: God sees things from a vantage point that is far higher than mine. In Isaiah 55:9 He says that "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." He sees things from a different plane, and therefore thinks differently than we do.

Put together then, is a possible third reason why God said no. From His perspective, He sees something that we do not. Out of His goodness, He may then say no. Perhaps it is a good reason. We have noticed that He has been bringing a lot of families from our current community into our lives. Most of them are not saved. Perhaps He wants us as a family to learn to reach out to our community with the good news of Jesus.

Or perhaps there is something ahead that He is protecting us from, something He wants to spare us from. Maybe He knows that a move at this time in our lives is not the best thing for us or for our children.

I don't know why right now. But I do have a choice. Am I going to choose to be thankful for God's answers, even if they are not what we wanted? Am I going to believe that even if we got what we thought was less than ideal, that God desires to do our family good? Am I going to believe that He will take care of all the needs that we have? Will I take this God-given opportunity to learn contentment and cultivate a thankful heart, even when He says no to our requests?

I will be the first to admit that this is not my natural line of thinking. It is so much easier to be thankful when things go my way. But if those are the only times I am thankful, then I will be frequently frustrated because, as we all know, life here is not a walk in the park. If I cannot see and trust God's hand in the disappointments in life, I will be disillusioned by the Christian life and will fall away. Like my 3-year-old when he doesn't get his way (and I have see that quite often these days!), I will be unhappy and unable to see all the blessings that are before me.

I'm sure that this isn't a mistake in God's plan in our lives. The ball is in my court. What am I going to choose? Am I going to choose a life marked by frustration and disillusionment? Or am I going to choose a life marked by contentment and thanksgiving? What I choose will greatly determine what God can do in and through me and my family.

Heavenly Father, You know that I am disappointed about the outcome. It made so much sense to us. Your plans don't make sense. But I am going to hold on to one thing: That You are good, wise and perfect in all Your ways. If there is any sin in my heart, please reveal it to me. From my own perspective, I have thought you were leading us this way. But if You have another lesson for me to learn, please teach me what You want me to learn. In all that we say and do as a family, may we glorify You. In Jesus' name, Amen.