God is good, always. This goodness extends far beyond our satisfaction with the way life is going. While we must always strive to be joyful in the life God has given us, there are times when things don’t go our way. Praising Him, in spite of our circumstances, is a privilege. Our relationship with God is more precious when we choose to worship Him when things aren’t going right.
As a teenager, God gave me some pretty massive “nos”. I had dreams of accomplishing things that I made known far and wide, and I was told publicly that I wasn’t not capable of these things. It took me months to get over the disappointment. My worth was put into this dream, and when I was told no, I felt I had no purpose. I couldn’t understand why something that seemed like destiny, that seemed to be promised to me, was denied. I struggled with anger, with being ridiculed and eventually outcast by my peers, and I fell into depression. I knew God had a purpose for this big “no”, but I couldn’t see that purpose, and my hope was crushed.
When Moses was leading the Israelites to the Promised Land, he struggled with seeing the big picture. Moses asks for God to show him the way. God replies “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest – everything will be fine for you.” (Ex 33:14)
Six months after God gave me this life-changing “no”, my family moved to New Mexico. This move was one of the best things to ever happen to us. Had we not moved here, my life would be completely different. I can’t even picture where I would be if I hadn’t moved, because I can see just how different life is here. I wouldn’t have met my husband, and my daughter wouldn’t be in existence. So many blessings have come to us out of this move.
See, if I had had this role put on me in Texas, I don’t know if I would have moved. I don’t think my family would have stayed in Texas just because of this role, but for me, it was a big enough role that I would have tried to find a way to stay. I cared about it that much. God taking this dream away from me, while painful, opened my heart to experiencing new things, including this move. (This isn’t to say that moving to a new state in the middle of your Junior year is an easy thing to do if you don’t have big dreams… I still struggled immensely.)
When God tells us “no”, He isn’t doing it to be mean or vengeful. He doesn’t use this as an opportunity to laugh at us. God tells us no to certain things because He has something far better in plan for our lives.
He has told me “no” a lot. More and more as I have gone through my twenties. A few of these nos have shaken me to my core. I still haven’t seen why some of these “nos” have happened, and I may not on this side of heaven, but I have hope that God uses our heartbreak for His will.
I don’t know if your dreams are Promised Land big, or if they are something a little smaller, but God will see you through, if His answer is “yes”, “not yet” or “no”. I can tell you that if you are seeking Him in every step of your life, the no will provide a bigger blessing than you could ever imagine.
If you are struggling through a “no” right now, I pray that you are still praising Him. One of my favorite worship songs is “Blessed Be Your Name”.