Hey friends, how are you today? Unlike yesterday, which was a bright, beautiful, cloudless, sunny day, today is a dark, gloomy, cloudy, and sunless day. The threat of snow is in the air, as a matter of fact, we are under a winter storm advisory. Our meteorologist think it is a minor threat for those of us who live in the upstate of Upstate NY. Although our snow levels are down, three to six inches of snow is really not a big deal, in my neck of woods. We have the tendency to count our snow totals in feet! What’s the weather like in your neck of the woods?
My first job, on my way to college was as a sales rep for an encyclopedia company (yes… I suppose that tells my age). Although computers were a thing, very few people could actually afford the thing! I don’t know what I was thinking at the time, I should have known better. But at the time, I just wanted a job; well actually, I just wanted money; shopping was already in my DNA. Anyway, should also have known that if you could not afford a computer, buying a set of encyclopedias would also be out of the budget. Needless to say, I heard the answer ‘no’ quite often. I only lasted a week, enough time for one person to have pity on me and purchased a set, for which I was very grateful.
For quite a few years, I must admit I took the answer ‘no’ as a very personal rejection. The negative answer somehow promoted the idea that I failed in some way. I could not seem to differentiate between a veto to my request from a veto to me! The answer no left me with a feeling of insignificance, especially when someone else had received what I wanted. I felt that, no was said to me, the person, not my request. In my family unit, if I knew the answer would be no to my request, then I just wouldn’t ask.
As Christians, beliefs and behaviors are changed gradually and most times the Lord has to repeat Himself. So, you know it took me a minute to accept that answer. I still hate the answer no, but I am learning that it is not a personal attack on my person. Throughout scripture, God says no. He said no to the Israelites and allowed them to be captured and displaced by the Babylonian army. He said no to David and Bathsheba’s first born. He even said no to Jesus Christ when He ask, ‘that this cup be taken from Him’ (Luke 22:42).
Tasha Layton says in her song by the same name, Thank You for the No. Ahh yes, Lord, I too say thank You for all the times You said no in my life. Our God certainly isn’t a yes God’. He isn’t a genie. We can’t just pull a string for the Lord to give us everything we want. Fortunately for us, life doesn’t work like that. Even as parents we must tell our kids no several time in their lifetime. The repercussions of the affirmative when no would have sufficed is usually not only detrimental to the kids, but also to the rest of the family.
No is a good answer, when God says it. It strengthens us and grows us in our walk with Him. Believe me, it also draws us closer to Him. A no answer tells us to trust the God of the universe. It helps us to endure, it helps us to wait. No tells us there should be another way or perhaps this is not the way. No protects and guides us. The Lord leads us with no and at times He saves our very lives when He says no.
It stops us in our tracks. It reminds us to look up and keep our eyes on the Savior. No always says best not better is on the way, because God always gives His best to us. No usually brings disappointment and at times discouragement, but only for a while because when we remember to go back to what we know to be true, we then know to say, “thy will be done”. No keeps us grounded in the Word of God and provides us with ample opportunities to stay in communication with Him. We need all the ‘no’s’ we can get, because He is God, and we are not, He is right and we wrong, He is Holy and we are sinners saved by His grace.
No is a good word. We should learn to use it sometimes. Perhaps then we may be less exhausted. It takes courage and boldness to say no and we have these attributes as Christians. We just have to develop them.
No is a good word. It is good for us, it is good for those who try to limit us and place us in boxes, in which we do not belong, it is good for our kids. Let us be thankful for the no.
Are you thankful for the no?