R.J. Anderson (rj_anderson) wrote,
R.J. Anderson
rj_anderson

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When God says "no"

As a parent, I try to be fair and generous with my children, but just the same, there are times when I say "no" to their requests. And not just the kind of requests that are foolish, extravagant, or ultimately harmful -- sometimes I find myself saying "no" even when what they're asking of me is harmless or even potentially beneficial to them, just because I'm too tired or don't have the money or simply don't feel like it.

But God is not like that. When our heavenly Father refuses us, it is not because He lacks the time, resources or energy to give us what we ask. He is eternal, all-powerful, possessed of infinite wealth, and as the Psalmist wrote, He neither slumbers nor sleeps. Nor does He ever tire of our begging and tell us to go away, as frustrated human parents sometimes do. Quite the opposite in fact -- He tells us to ask and go on asking.

So when God says says "no" or "wait", His decision is not made out of laziness or indifference, but rather out of infinite wisdom and inexhaustible love. He knows how much we long for the things we ask, but He also knows that our ambitions are often far inferior to what He has in mind. What seems best to us right now could ultimately turn out for our regret if we received it, and in His grace God may have something much better in mind for us, if only we have the patience and faith to wait for it.

I say this for my own benefit more than anyone else's, because I've just had some disappointing news about something that means a great deal to me, and it's all too easy to ask why. But I know that this is not the end of the story, or the whole of it either. And since it wasn't very long ago that a similar disappointment turned into a triumph I could never have foreseen, I am choosing to wait and trust God in this matter, too.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)

***

On a tangentially related note, I told jamesbow I would write a review of his new book Fathom Five, and I still intend to. But a new deadline has come up, and right now I don't have the time to give his story the careful attention it deserves. So, until I can compose a proper review, I'll just say that it's beautifully written, with emotional resonance and an intriguing, well-executed plot, and that you should go read it (and the previous book The Unwritten Girl, which I reviewed here, as well).

And now it is dinner time.
Tags: books, christianity, prayer, reviews, theology, writing
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