When God Says No

One day when Michael was around 4 and Rebekah was about 6 it snowed. This particular storm left cars, trees, and lawn beautifully covered in 2-3 inches of fluffy white.  While the kids were out playing they decided to clean off the cars.  Using their hands they wiped off as much as they could reach.  Somehow Michael got a broom and began using it to knock the snow off of the hood of my truck.  The problem was this broom had a wire band which, because of Michael’s angle, could possibly scratch the paint.  When told to stop he pouted and fumed like only a 4-year-old can do.  Even though he was doing something good and kind of fun he didn’t understand why he had to stop.

Our Christian walk can be like that at times.  We can be moving along, serving in some way, but for a variety of reasons leave deeper issues in our wake.  Like Michael and the broom, we don’t see the problem.  When we are asked to stop or change we pout, get upset, leave, or express our displeasure in other ways. There are two verses that speak to these kinds of situations.  The first is from Isaiah, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8–9, NASB95)  No matter how good, right, or mature we think we are it is important to remember that God’s thoughts and ways are still far beyond our own.  We don’t have all the answers. Nor can we see all of the consequences our actions may create.

While we follow Christ by faith we do so with open eyes and a changing heart. Paul wrote in Romans, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2, NASB95) There are many things in my own walk that when I look back I can see the damage I caused or could have caused. I can see where certain responses and actions had more to do with my will than that of God’s, even though I was doing what I knew to be right. But I can also look back and see how God used those situations to change me in some way, even using my failures and childishness for His purposes. I also know that in five or ten years when I look back on today I will still see areas where I followed well and others where I failed.  I hope that you too have the same experience because that means growth and change in the Lord is taking place.

Transformation and growth in the Lord require that we walk by faith, but not just any old faith.  The world would have us think that the only thing that counts is believing in something, it doesn’t really matter what. Instead, our faith is specific, both in its person and in its purpose.  You could say that our faith is to be that of a child’s, a faith that is comfortable knowing that we do not understand everything and that our Father knows best.  Even when we don’t understand what He is doing we can trust He is guiding us where we should go. Having faith that He is changing us in the ways we need to be changed and transformed. So that the next time God says no we can rest in the faith that our Father knows best.


Dale Heinold
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