When God Says “No” Part 2
Why does it hurt so bad when God says “no”? If I’m honest, the root of the hurt behind the “no” is because I thought I deserved the “yes”. My commitment to Christ has been solid for 20 years, I pursued a degree in ministry forsaking degrees in other fields, I’ve dedicated my adult life to the church, I’ve moved away from my close knit family in order to do God’s work, I voluntarily share my husband with hundreds of other people and I sacrifice family time and personal time with my man so God can use him, I give God over and above 10% of my income etc, etc. See, I feel as if my relationship with God should operate like a relationship with another person operates. I give, you give. I do you a favor, you owe me one. Right? Haven’t I earned the “yes”? Hasn’t my behavior and lifestyle secured the right to be healed?
Ultimately, I’ve concluded that I see God’s “no” as an injustice. I’m not getting something I deserve, earned, and is rightfully mine.
I think it’s humbling (and a bit frustrating) to realize that God cannot be manipulated. God cannot be cooerced. God doesn’t make moves based upon guilt or the pressure to be seen as “fair”. It makes me feel a bit helpless, too. You mean, I can’t DO anything to get a “yes”? You mean, it’s not up to me? WHAT? I have no control over this situation? Not only does that make me uncomfortable, I have realized that it makes me angry. The Monica Gellar in me, wants to be able influence a situation enough to get the results I want.
I can’t pray hard enough, I can’t read enough Scripture, I can’t give enough tithe/offering, I can’t dedicate enough hours to the church, I can’t sacrifice more comforts, I can’t express more faith (because I already truly believe He can move mountains), I can’t be a good enough Christian to gaurantee a “yes” to something I’ve asked of God.
So really, the “no” is a reminder that I am not in control.
I have a few choices then, at this point.
I can stomp my feet and throw a spiritual temper tantrum (and I have) because I’m not getting what I want; I can take my ball and go home, because God’s not following the rules of my game; I can stop investing in my relationship with God, because I am disenchanted, angered, frustrated, and hurt. But none of that gets me the answer that I’m searching for.
I’m thankful that my upbringing has taught me that when I’m confused, I need to consult the Word of God. The next installment, we are going to look at several instances where God told people “no”, and we’ll dive in to how they reacted, and hopefully see more of who God is and what He is like.