“No.”

My little bitty girl is 6 months old today! We celebrated by going to my old school, attending chapel, and seeing my old students. And then, to make her half birthday even more special, I made my mom’s chicken and dumplings.

chicken dumplingsNot that Julia would get to eat any of it.

But this is the ultimate in comfort food for me! There’s nothing like a soft biscuit to sop up all of the juicy wonderfulness from the chicken, celery, and carrots on your plate. Julia must have gotten the memo, because she was EXCEEDINGLY interested in the pot that I was stirring on the stove.

hot stove 2

I mean, come on, wouldn’t you want to touch that shiny pot? I’m sure the savory smell was driving her nuts, in addition to the fact that she was sitting on her mom’s hip SO close to the action! She kept reaching her hand out, and I kept saying, “No!” It’s hot!” She even got to the point where she was leeeeaaaning as far as I would let her, trying to get her hand on that saucepan.

This is the quintessential sermon illustration on God’s sovereignty and wisdom vs. man’s worldly desires. Just like a mother will not allow a child to touch a hot stove (even if they really want to!), in the same way, God will not allow us to have something that will hurt us.

Even if we really want it.

Even if we’re PRAYING for it.

He loves us enough that He’d rather see us struggle with frustration and disappointment than give us something that would not be for our ultimate good and His glory.

I used to ask my 7th graders, “Does God always answer prayer?” The goody-goodies would say, “Yes.” The ones who really thought about the question and the fact that they prayed in vain for a porsche would say, “No.” The truth is that God DOES always answer prayer…but “no” is a valid answer!

So is “wait.” So is, “Yes, and I’ll give you even more than you asked!”

Now, I just need to remember this when I’m dealing with the disappointments that come every day. I know that everything that happens is orchestrated for my good, even if it’s not what I want! When I’m frustrated because things don’t happen quickly enough, easily enough, or inexpensively enough, I must keep in mind that the character qualities that the Lord is using these situations to build far outweigh the inconveniences I’m experiencing. God is just protecting me from the hot stove.

hot stove 1

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3 thoughts on ““No.”

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