I Don’t Like That Answer

How many times have you wanted something and just knew that it was yours? You can see it. You can picture that thing as being a part of your life. You think, “God wants me to have the desires of my heart.” And I really really want it, so God obviously wants me to have it. Then you find out that no, that thing, that job, that person, that house is NOT yours.

Writer Lewis Carroll, once said, “I have had prayers answered—most strangely so sometimes—but I think our Heavenly Father's loving-kindness has been even more evident in what He has refused me.” Hearing “no” doesn’t sit well with us. Think about being a kid and being told no. When you’re young you only see the prevention side, “no” is a barrier. As we mature however, “no” can become a gateway to better living. “No, do not touch that electrical outlet.” “No, don’t touch that hot stove.” “No, may not play in the middle of the street,” etc. Too often, we see only the prevention and not the protection.

At the end of King David’s life, he expresses a desire to build a house for the Lord. “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent” (2 Sam. 7:2; 1 Chron. 17:1). A passion arises in David to construct a temple for God—not for David’s renown but for the worship, honor, and glory of the almighty God. It’s a good desire, and the prophet Nathan even confirms his aspirations, saying, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you” (2 Sam. 7:3; 1 Chron. 17:2). 

David desired the good thing of constructing the Lord’s temple, but God had a better plan. God promises David that even though David would not build the temple he would raise up his offspring, Solomon, who would usher in a reign of peace and prosperity in God’s kingdom. 

When our friends receive a “no” we like to throw out the old saying, “When God closes a door, he opens a window.” What if he just wants you to be content in the room you are in?

How do you persist in seasons like this? Pray to be content in the room of quiet faithfulness. Pray to be okay with not knowing everything the future holds. Pray to be okay when you hear no, understanding that His deliverance of you is secure forever by the life of Christ. He might have said “no” to you in one thing, but we can rest in the eternal “yes” of Christ. And that’s the most important yes we need. God doesn’t always open a window after He closes the door, but we can still praise him in the hallway.