I suspect we have all heard the old adage “God has three ways to answer our prayers: Yes, No, and wait awhile.” Said person will go on to explain:
A “Yes” is always nice to hear because that virtually means God agree with you.
A “No” while hard to take, is at least an answer. However, it does mean that God did not agree with you.
A “wait awhile” is an answer, but certainly not one we are crazy about getting. As implied, it means “
stand kneel wait around for who-knows-how-long until God decides to answer your prayer.”
I have always said the “Yes” and even the “No” were the preferred answers. I have trouble with that waiting gig. Do you? Please say yes so I know I am not alone!!
Truthfully, hearing a “No” is not the easiest thing either. When your heart is set on something and God says, “No” that sort of takes the stuffing right out of you. Sure God has spoken. Sure God has made His desire known. Sure God has definitely shown a door has been closed. But I am speaking from experience when I say hearing a “No” does take the wind out of the sails. Especially… especially when it seemed like a done deal. Been there had that happen.
David knows what it is like as well. Strange thing is that God sometimes says “No” even when the request is an okay one. Twice David was told “No” by God, once even after Nathan, God’s prophet, said, “Go for it.” Let’s go backwards though. God’s first “No” was to a legitimate plan- bringing the Ark to Jerusalem. The oxen pulling it stumbled, Uzzah reached out to steady the Ark and lost his life over it.
The other time was when David wanted to build the Temple. He was appalled that his own personal mansion was bigger and better than where “God lived.” Given the go-ahead by Nathan he began to make plans, but God said “No” to that plan. David’s son, Solomon, was to build it.
Why the “No” to a legitimate plan (to bring the Ark to Jerusalem)? Disobedience (the Ark was to be carried with poles by the Levites not on a cart with oxen) ruined that. Why the “No” to a legitimate desire? Being a man of war put the kibosh on that. God has said “No” to my requests before and they certainly haven’t been as honorable as David’s.
What about you? I’m sure God has told you “No” at one time or another. As you look back, are you glad he did? What was is your reaction to hearing “No”? Thanks for your prayers this weekend.