Recently my friend Jess, over at Sneakers & Stethescopes, wrote a post about those times when God says “no.” It’s great and I think you should go read it. I was reminded of some beautiful portions of scripture and it made me want to share what I have been going through and how God is getting me through it.
Over the last almost two years my husband and I have been trying to have a baby. I’m not convinced that God’s answer has been “no.” In fact, I think His answer is more of a “not yet” but I really can’t be sure. Those two are hard to tell the difference between in the midst of the pain and the waiting and they often feel like the same thing.
God has been using my strong desire for children as an opportunity to stimulate my sanctification. The valleys have been deep and wide. In the beginning I was confused, angry, and upset. Like all the time. But God has been humbling me and transforming me more and more into His image.
God has used many people to come along side me in the last couple of years. Whether it has been through prayer, encouragement, or friendship I have not felt alone. God has even used those who are not close to me to help me in this season. One person is Pastor Timothy Keller. He has a specific quote that I have dwelt upon time and time again.
“God will only give you what you would have asked for if you knew everything he knows” -Tim Keller
Wow! God will grant the desires we would have if we knew everything He knew… If we knew everything (like God does) we would choose exactly what He has planned for us! When I first heard that quote it didn’t really hit me. It stuck with me but I didn’t fully understand what that meant. I do now. And I pray that God reveals the fullness of what that means to you as well because it holds such sweet comfort.
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. -Psalm 37:4
This is a popular verse to rattle off when someone wants something that is good and they aren’t getting it. Don’t get me wrong, this is an amazing and beautiful verse. But we often use it in the wrong way.
God is not a genie. You do not get 3 wishes. You do not get any wishes.
This verse is not saying that if we find happiness in God that we will get whatever we want. This Psalm is telling us that if we find our joy, hope, and pleasure in God that He will give us what our hearts long for. The difference is that because we find joy, hope and pleasure in Him our hearts will long for His will.
If I delight myself in the Lord he WILL give me the desires of my heart. That’s a promise. But that desire may not turn out to be what I think it means right now. That desire may be something else entirely, if that’s God’s will. But we will begin to want what God wants (1 John 5:14)
The last thing that has been so greatly helpful on this journey has been my mother-in-law (yes, my in laws are the best). She is just a beacon of wisdom and love. A few months ago she went with me to an appointment where I found out some very upsetting news and I was on the verge of crying when we left the doctor’s office. She said something very eloquently that I will continue to quote until the day I go to be with the Lord.
If you didn’t believe in the sovereignty of God you’d want to bang your head against the wall. -Gail Howitt
YES, YES, YES!
A million times yes to the bashing my head against the wall!
But a million plus one times yes to the sovereignty of God part.
This goes back to what Tim Keller said that I quoted at the beginning. God is sovereign. He is more than in control. I was designed by Him. My infertility was designed by Him. The bad news I got that day at the doctor’s office was designed by Him. And there is such beauty in the fact that He is our sovereign God and everything is in accordance to His will. His sovereignty would be overwhelming and scary if it wasn’t that He was a good God (Psalm 145:9) who was gracious and merciful (Psalm 148:8) and who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3).
I could continue to go on and on about what I’ve learned about all the barren women in the Bible, about the promises of God, and about how much more lovely our inheritance in Christ than what we could ever be blessed with on this earth. But that is all for another post.
If you are hearing God say no to you in this season of your life I encourage you to spend a good amount of time in the Psalms. Read the Psalms over and over and be on the look out for every time the psalmist cries out to God and He answers his cries. It’s powerful and intimately comforting.
What has God used to comfort you after telling you “no”?