The Purpose of the “No”
I am an open book. Those that know me know that I wear my heart on my sleeve and I have a deep hope in the humanity of people. In knowing that about myself, I am deeply hurt, and I have experienced rejection and failed expectations pretty regularly. A part of who I am at the core holds other people to the very high standard I hold myself too. (Side note… this is not a healthy mentality and I know that – it’s a struggle guys!) I don’t back out of plans; I don’t miscalculate hardly anything, and my word is almost as important to me as the air that I breathe.
SO, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU WANT SOMETHING SO BADLY AND PLANS CHANGE AND PEOPLE BACK OUT AND YOU FIND YOURSELF IN A PLACE OF OVERWHELMING REJECTION? WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE NO?
You can do a couple of things. You can turn from God and His sovereignty, you can accept rejection, or become apathetic and just go through the motions of faith, or you can lean into what God is preparing you for.
In these situations, I always go back to Romans 8. Paul writes so much more eloquently than I could ever…
MEANWHILE, THE MOMENT WE GET TIRED IN THE WAITING, GOD’S SPIRIT IS RIGHT ALONGSIDE HELPING US ALONG. IF WE DON’T KNOW HOW OR WHAT TO PRAY, IT DOESN’T MATTER. HE DOES OUR PRAYING IN AND FOR US, MAKING PRAYER OUT OF OUR WORDLESS SIGHS, OUR ACHING GROANS. HE KNOWS US FAR BETTER THAN WE KNOW OURSELVES, KNOWS OUR CONDITION, AND KEEPS US PRESENT BEFORE GOD. THAT’S WHY WE CAN BE SO SURE THAT EVERY DETAIL IN OUR LIVES OF LOVE FOR GOD IS WORKED INTO SOMETHING GOOD. ROMANS 8:26-28 MSG
If you need to stop here and reread that I pray you imprint that on your heart. Drive this verse home where it hits you to your core. Let this verse speak peace and comfort over your soul that might be aching in the wake of rejection.
What we can’t do is confuse good with having what’s good for you. What we think is good might not actually be good for our spirit.
I am not a mother, but I have been a child for 32 years now. There have been times in my life where I wanted something so badly and my parents put their foot down with a very strong and resounding no. Even as an aunt there have been times where things that Opal wants; Opal does not get… Why? Is it because I want to punish her? Absolutely not. It’s because I see more of the outcome than she does. We can’t have soda or candy before bed because I know it will upset her sweet little tummy and she won’t sleep well. (and let’s be honest a tired baby is not a happy baby!)
Sometimes God withholds something we view as good because He sees the outcome that we can’t. He sees that our momentary desires will add unnecessarily and provide unforeseen challenges and could quite possibly kill our spirit. Sometimes it helps to revisit His faithfulness.
Instead, we need to view God’s no as encouragement that He is strengthening us and preparing us for the future He has written. Just like Romans says… just as we get tired in the waiting (I would also like to interject here… that includes rejection, unmet expectations, discouragement, sadness, etc..) God is right there helping us because He knows far better than we do and that’s why we can rest in the shade of His sovereignty because everything He does is for the good of those that love and serve Him.