in my life, there are several instances have i earnestly prayed my petition unto the Lord, seeking an answer. when those answers are a simple yes or no, it seems as though God most often confirms with a no. receiving a no from God is not necessarily a rebuke, but as we do not see the big picture, there is a piece of information hidden from us that may harm us in one way or another. Jesus has every intention of working things out for good (Romans 8:28); if this were not true, He would have never endured a cross for you.
in 2 Samuel 7, we read the account of David and his desire to build a house for the ark of God. he talked things over with the prophet and, upon affirmation from the preacher, David had an approval to start pulling permits on the new construction. i can imagine the rest of the day and into the following day that David was busy with designers and artisans, working out every detail. that night, Nathan heard from God that they may have rushed their decision. had they consulted with God first, they may not have worked themselves up into an excitable frenzy. getting a no from God hurts our pride a bit, but getting the go-ahead and then finding out that planning must stop, could be very disappointing.
Nathan delivered an alternative and a promise to David. David’s response reveals his character. verse 20 reads, “And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Lord God, knowest thy servant.” instead of a pout, David resounded with a shout! his attitude in this situation reveals a small glimpse into why he was called “a man after God’s own heart.”
similarly, i have prayed long and hard for direction, and God confirmed that He would answer my prayer. bursting into praise and worship, i excitedly ran to tell the good news to my wife. with joyful tears in my eyes, she responded to this established decree from the Almighty with, “What if the answer is no?” immediately, all of the wind left my sails. after praying for so long and desiring to do what was right, I had never considered that God would deny my request.
the answer was an absolute no. we regrouped and dove headlong into prayer, the very best we knew how to do. months later, we received a response that was directly from God. the way everything went down was a clear and concise act of God. without His intervention, the unfolding events could have never happened. i know this may seem vague, but the details are not essential to this lesson. the truth learned, and the testimony gleaned is that God sees the bigger picture. let Him be God.
there is a blessing in the waiting, but we despise waiting. we should not rush God’s perfect timing. i like the saying, “while waiting on God, do what waiters do. serve” (anonymous). keep a good attitude, and don’t slack in your daily walk with God. stay in His Word and maintain your communication with Him. we read of men waiting decades for a promise, weeks for an answer. my answer arrived after years of struggle. had i rejected God over receiving a solution in the negative, where would I be today? do not let bruised ego or pride drive your motivations and concepts. a no answer now is an even greater yes answer down the road. when that day comes, i will rejoice with you as you testify that God worked all things together for good!