Friday, April 24, 2009

The Blessing of God's 'No'

"Nathan replied to the king, 'Go ahead and do whatever you have in mind, for the LORD is with you.' But that same night the LORD said to Nathan, 'Go and tell my servant David, 'This is what the LORD has declared: Are you the one to build a house for me to live?' 'I will raise up one of your descendants, your own offspring...He is the one who will build a house - a temple - for my name.'" 2 Samuel 7:3-5, 12,13.

It was a good prayer. Certainly the Lord would want to answer it. His Word encourages that ‘iron sharpen iron’. Why, this request would not only strengthen my son's character and walk with the Lord, but also glorify God. Yet, here it was five years later. Still waiting. Still petitioning.

We had joined our present church fellowship when we re-located a few years ago, and having the heart of a mother, I desired that my teenage son make some long-lasting connections. Weekly I would encourage his attendance at Youth Events and Young People activities, but he would go, sit alone and come home quietly.

My son was/is very involved on both the worship team and sound/technical team at our church. Music is his life and he enjoys the fellowship with these other like-minded participants, even though most are more his senior.

I was fervently praying that the Lord would give my son a strong Christian friend. I wanted him to not only have the benefit of a godly buddy, but if that person could also have an interest in music, well that would just be a bonus. I was certain the Lord would provide such a friend within our church fellowship.

Several months ago a dear friend shared with me some concerns she had with compromise, evidenced among the teenagers. Some from this very group of young people I had been praying for my son to connect with, were playing on shaky ground.

The Lord immediately began to speak to my heart, “Sweet Joy, My ‘no’ has not been to frustrate you, but to save you from unnecessary hardships, while keeping your son walking close to Me. I removed him and prevented him from friendships that would have brought temptation he was not strong enough yet to handle. I have protected both him and you from heartache.” Oh, the delayed blessings of a ‘no’.

In today’s reading we see David receive a ‘no’ through Nathan the prophet. David desired to build a dwelling for the Ark. It was a good idea, but it wasn’t God’s idea. We can have the right idea, but at the wrong time. God’s ‘no’s’ are not always rejection, but re-direction.

Oh, and just so you know, in God's perfect timing the Lord has answered my prayer. Three years ago He placed a friend in my son's highschool band. This year their friendship has been growing. This friend loves the Lord sincerely. This friend follows hard after Him. This friend encourages him in his walk with the Lord. This friend prays for him. This friend shares his passion for music. The one thing I didn't envision? This friend is a girl! Now I have another whole new area of prayer.

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Marilyn in Mississippi said...

Awwww.....what a sweet ending to your story! :) And, yes, I can see how the Lord has blessed me many times by saying NO to me.

Hope you are doing well. I have been getting my emails back that I have tried to send you. Not sure what is causing that. Do want you to know that I am still concerned about your Dad though.

God bless

Heather said...

I love it Joy!
Not only did God answer your prayer, but blessed you with a new area to pray in! :)

I love the reminder too that a "no" sometimes is a re-direction to something better.

Love you,

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

On the front side of our prayers, we often cannot see how God is working it out...

How thankful I am for his wisdom that exceeds my grasp at understanding.

Love you friend.

PS: And yes, that girl thing is an entire "other" issue...

Unreasonable Grace said...

I just love these God-surprises! I have prayed for a good, godly young man to come into my easily-boy-influenced oldest daughter's life to keep her from straying from walking down the wrong path. I've experienced those "no" answers to prayer, only to have an "ah-hah!" moment on down the road when He answers - just not at all in the way I had imagined. His ways are so much higher - you'd think we all would have figured that out by now!

Lori said...

Oh, what a sweet ending! God is good and we are so thankful that His hands are on our children...His eyes too, when we cannot be there to take care of them every minute, like we'd like! :)
Lori - AZ