I picked up my screaming toddler and carried him under one arm out of the store and strapped him into his carseat. He wanted that red firetruck with the siren. I had simply said, “No.” No, he didn’t need another firetruck. No, it’s not your birthday. No.
That day, I saw my kicking and screaming self in that child. I hadn’t wanted to move across the country. I had wanted to stay. I had prayed for a miracle. Fasted and prayed. Cried and prayed.
We can all think of a time when God said, “No,” to something we wanted. My trust runs thin in those moments, and I want to shout, “You don’t love me!” to the heavens. You have heard “No,” too–
You wanted a baby, but miscarriage after miscarriage has left you with empty arms.
You wanted your parents near, to grow old and love grandchildren, but they died tragically, too young.
You wanted the cancer to be eradicated, but blood tests reveal that the fight is still on.
You wanted your son to live a long life, but now, you stand beside his grave–19 years old.
You wanted to play basketball, but an injury side-lined your game, and the future is uncertain.
Before Jesus was crucified, he pled, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me….”
“No,” Heaven whispered.
The son’s reply, “But please, not what I want. What do you want?”
When I don’t get want I want, what will I do? What will I say?
I can say, “Thank you for this ‘no.’ This ‘no’ comes with all of your love and wisdom behind it, even though I can’t see it now. With great pain and tears, I accept it. In my short-sightedness, I was so sure that this was the right outcome. But now, I’m looking for your best ‘yes’ up ahead. What do you want?”