When God Says "No"
During a season when God was planting gospel truths more deeply in my heart and bringing sweeter and richer intimacy with Christ, I was quite bewildered when symptoms of intense anxiety began to emerge.
I pleaded with God to remove the sensation of being unable to breathe. How could I be battling anxiety when I had never known greater peace and joy? Why, suddenly, after years of speaking publicly without a problem, was I barely able to get words out without gasping for breath? In response to my desperate prayers, I heard silence.
But since then I've learned that God's refusals are always His mercies, even when we don't see any immediate evidence of His kindness. It's in such moments that we are reminded to put our hope in the cross where Christ proved His love once for all.
You see, Christ didn't save us simply to have us keep chasing after lesser things of the world, as good as they may be. He wants to give us abundantly more than we ask or imagine!
- I prayed for rest from anxiety, but God wanted to teach me to rest in Him.
- I prayed for strength, but God wanted to show me the sufficiency of His power in my weakness.
- I prayed for relief from troubled breathing, but first God wanted to train me to depend on Him for each breath I take.
When God withholds answers we long for, it is only that He might give us greater gifts.
"My God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19).
As it turns out, what we think will make us happy and what God knows we need in order to receive the immeasurable riches of His grace are two very different things.
In time, God revealed an underlying hormonal imbalance, and my health is slowly being restored. Yet, as I reflect on this long journey, I thank God that He doesn't give us what we think we want, but what will most satisfy us—more of Christ in our life.
Is there something you've asked God for that He's withholding? Will you choose to trust that His "no" or "wait" is only so He can give you His more perfect "yes"?
Written by Linda Green