Talking to Jesus: When Love = No

” ‘You don’t know what you are asking,’ Jesus said. ‘Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?’ ‘We can,’ they answered.” (Mark 10:38-39)

One of the things I’m most grateful to God for is some of the prayers He has said “no” to. I now realize that I didn’t know what I was asking. Prayers for broken relationships to be fixed, to get a particular job or spot on a sports team, to avoid the pain of failure.

ttj_350As I look back now, I can see the opportunities that followed God’s negative answers. If that relationship had worked, I’d have missed one worth keeping. If I’d been good enough to make that team, I would not have discovered an unexpected lifelong passion that season. Without the pain of failure, I would have stopped trying.

Don’t get me wrong. I wanted those things badly at the time — and I still have questions about other “no” answers God has given me. I can’t find a gift or the silver lining in every rejected request. And that’s kind of the point. I’m just not smart enough to know all the implications if God did exactly what I wanted right now.

But He does. And He loves me enough to say “no” when I need it. So I’ll keep asking, and I’ll keep trying to trust His judgement on the answers.

Think: Are you convinced that God really loves you very deeply and enjoys giving you good things? Do you think He’s powerful enough to give you whatever you want? If so, what does that tell you about the times He says “no” to one of your requests?

Pray: Ask God to help you to trust His love, power, and goodness all day.

Do: Make a quick list of 5-10 prayers God has answered with a “yes” in the last few months.