When God Says No

I have heard that when we pray God says yes, no, or wait. The Bible says to pray without ceasing. Pray that things will be done according to God’s will and not ours. I can’t remember not praying. Even as a young child my Mother knelt beside me at night and prayed “Now I lay me down to sleep…..”

My family consists of three branches: my Mother, my Daddy, and my Dad. You see, when I was twelve my life changed in the blink of an eye. We’d had a great family weekend. Daddy’s parents had come in from Lexington to spend time with us. I remember them playing game after game of Canasta and talking nonstop. My Grandmother waved goodbye with tears in her eyes. Me, too. I hated to see them go.

Then came Monday. My parents were at work. Mammaw lived with us and was beginning to cook dinner in the afternoon when Daddy’s boss and secretary brought him home. A few minutes later he had a fatal heart attack on our couch in front of me.  As the ambulance sped by I ran down the street trying to get their attention. I did.  Just as they were putting Daddy, covered with a sheet, in the ambulance my sweet Mother was dropped off from work.  Wow. Can you imagine?  She is an amazing woman. So strong in all ways, especially her faith. The quintessential Proverbs 31 woman.

While my family all prayed for God to heal Daddy, He had other plans for him. He also had other plans for us. Mother remained strong in her faith, never missing church and making sure we went, too.  Over a decade later she met and married Dad. He is one of our greatest gifts from Abba. Dad is a loving, strong, Christian man. A leader in the community and church, he is a retired mathematics teacher and college instructor as well as the official grandchildren tutor.  Playing high school basketball earned him a scholarship to LSU  and a place at the NCAA finals where his Tigers were beaten by the Hoosiers! His gruffness comes from being retired military but don’t let that fool you.  Dad’s a big old soft teddy bear.  He is a sweetheart.

He loves my sister and me abundantly and has taken the word “step” out of our vocabulary. The love he has for my dear Mother shines through his eyes as he gazes upon her, and that love is returned, too.  Not only does he speak words of love, but his actions show it. He has taken care of us longer now than Daddy. Dad is generous, funny, conservative, and not soft spoken. He has a heart of gold and always speaks the truth. We love him. As an added bonus he brought with him a huge, loving Christian family that immediately adopted us.  Not to mention his son and daughter so now I have many nieces and nephews, too.

It is hard when we pray and God says no. Really hard. Especially when it comes to health, life, and death we want God to say yes. Most people, me included, have a tendency to think we know better. How crazy is that? God is supreme. He has plans for us and they are always good. He will make something good out of a tragedy. He doesn’t make the tragedy but will use it. Keep praying even if His answer is no. Pray for God’s will to be done. That’s what Jesus did. Trust Abba. Something good is coming. It may take just a day or perhaps a decade, but pray for God’s Will. Things will get better.  Have faith.

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”
Luke 22:42 NIV


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