"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future! "
Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

When God Says No

(This devotional was taken from a newletter I receive from Daily Focus, a devotional for homeschoolers by homeschoolers, from Alpha Omega Publications)

"In the day when I cried thou answered me."
Psalm 138:8

Our family was considered poor while we homeschooled. Living on one income left us with little money, and trips to the grocery store were made only for milk, flour, eggs, and other staples. We baked our own bread and supplemented our food budget with a bountiful garden. Thankfully, we always had something to eat, and my children never went to bed hungry. However, there were times during our homeschooling when I didn't understand why God allowed our financial situation. I longed for the convenience of prepackaged foods and thought, "It's not fair. Other homeschooling families don't have to cook from scratch, and they have so much more time for field trips and fun days."

My frustration continued until I taught my children the inspirational story of Amy Carmichael. Amy was a Christian missionary in India who founded an orphanage for thousands of children who otherwise would have suffered a bleak future. As a child, Amy prayed to have blue eyes instead of brown. When the color never changed, she was desperately disappointed that God hadn't answered her prayer. Amy's mother lovingly explained that "No" was an answer to prayer too, and years later, Amy discovered the reason for God's answer. To rescue the abused children in India, Amy had to disguise herself as a native. Dyeing her skin with coffee, Amy was able to keep from being recognized as a foreigner because her eyes were brown, not blue. After reading Amy's story to my family, I thought, "Maybe God has a reason for telling me "No," too."

As time went on and my children grew into adulthood, I finally understood God's reason for those hours spent cooking in the kitchen. Because our resources were limited, my children had enjoyed a healthy diet of homegrown, homemade food. They were fit and strong and had also learned how to be good cooks themselves. What I had considered a detriment to our homeschooling had actually been a huge blessing.

What do you do when God answers your prayer with "No"? Satan will tempt you to pout as you see greener grass on the other side of the fence, but don't believe him. God's perfect plan for your life will only be fulfilled as you learn to follow Him in obedience, including those times when He says, "No." "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11).

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Father, thank You for answering prayer. I confess that only You know what's best for my life. Like a child, help me to trust You when You say "No" and to realize that it's always for my own good. In Jesus' name, Amen.


9 comments:

Andrea said...

Isn't it amazing how GOD continually uses those things we deem the most painful for our utmost good. HE is awesome and we are indeed blessed far beyond what money can offer.
Hugs, andrea

homeschool101 said...

How are you doing Laura? Hoping you have a great day.

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

The process of being sanctified can be,and often is, painful. Praise be to God that He loves us enough to hurt us and then bind our wounds. What a loving Father we have...

Autumn Mist said...

Oh wow, isn't that brilliant?! Thanks for this, I'm so blessed by it.

Heart2Heart said...

Laura,

What a great blessing this post was! God reminds us to be thankful in all things and the more we can find ways to be thankful when things don't go our way, the more we win out over the enemy and don't lose our joy.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Just Be Real said...

Laura thank you for sharing. Giving you a ((((Laura))))

Mocha Momma said...

I loved that study. Jer. 29:11 is one that cling to. Sometimes I think we should have new furniture and decor, but God says "No".

People have always been so kind to give us their couches that we've never bought one yet.

We just got a whole living room of furniture donated to us. At first I was thinking "I'll never get to pick what I want", but now that the floors are being refinished and walls painted, it seems like it's going to be very nice.

Thanks be to God who knows what's best. Thanks for this post.

NANNETTE

Diana said...

A great post! I always think, too, about the saying, "Thank God for unanswered prayers." He always knows best.

Linda said...

I can relate to your post! How I gone through so much over the past year and it has indeed been painful!! How I have thanked Him for all this pain even though at times it has been difficult because He does know best! I do not know all the reasons why but I am praising him!
Blessing.