Dwell in Me

Seeking God in the Every Day


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When God Says No

Do you know, we prayed a specific prayer. And it didn’t happen.

God said No.

It’s not the first time God has answered my prayers with a no.

I’ve heard before that God doesn’t say no. That the answer from God is always yes or not yet. But sometimes the not yets run out. Sometimes death claims a life. Sometimes sickness gets worse, not better. Sometimes you don’t get into a Ph.D. program. Sometimes that monthly reminder that I’m not pregnant shows up even when I’ve prayed it won’t.

So instead of wondering if God says no, I’ve started asking why he does.

From God’s word, we know that he knows what is best for us and that he gives us only good gifts. And we have this:

Or what man is there of you, if his son asks him for a loaf of bread, will hand him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will hand him a serpent? If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking him!
(Matthew 7:9-11, AMP)

Here’s the thing–sometimes the loving Father knows that when you ask for the serpent what you really need is a fish. And when you ask for a stone, what you really need is bread.

God knows better than I do what is right for me and for my life. It’s hard to surrender that. It’s hard to admit that I’m not the best person to determine what I need–because it seems like I should be. But God, who is outside of time, who declared the end from the beginning, who knows all things: he knows. And he knows when it is best to say no.

I don’t understand. I don’t know if I ever will. But when God says no? I need to trust him. Because he knows what I don’t know. And his ways are not my ways–they are better ways. And because, if I’m honest, I know that it will be better in the end to have what God wants for me than to get exactly what I think I want.

Then Jesus went with them [the disciples] to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even unto death; remain here and watch with me.’ And going a little farther, he fell on his face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.‘” (Matthew 26:36-39)

That cup? It didn’t pass from Jesus. And we praise God it didn’t.

So we trust. And we keep praying. And we include in our prayers, “not my will but yours, Father.” Because we trust. And because he knows better.

And we say thank you. Because even though it seemed better to us that things should go a particular way, we know, from God’s no, that the plan we had in mind was not the right one. And we say thanks that God would protect us from ourselves and from our own desires and instead give us what is best and prepare us for what we need. And we keep on praying.


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Thanks and Thanks Again

Are the holidays really upon us already?

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week. And Thanksgiving is late this year–so I should be ready for it, right?

I feel like this year Thanksgiving is more important, more meaningful to me than it’s been in the past. I say that because gratitude has never been a strength of mine. Oddly, seeing so very clearly what I want but don’t yet have has helped me put words of thankfulness to so many blessings. Including the disguised blessings–like infertility itself.

As God has been revealing more and more of his character to me this year (and by that I mean that he has opened my eyes to himself, not that any of his character was ever hidden or anything), I feel so thankful for all that he has given. I am so thankful that he loves me and that he knows me and has an appointed time for everything. For everything in my life and for everything in the lives of everyone. How enormous is the power of our God? How far reaching his strength? How phenomenal his sovereignty? And how great his love?

I was struck recently by this verse, and I am so awed by the Father’s love for me!

In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.” (Jesus speaking, John 16:26-27)

I can’t put words to it. All I can say is thank you. Thank you. Thank you, over and over.

It’s a hectic time for me right now. DH’s grandparents are visiting and we’re working diligently with his grandfather to transform our office into a library (we’re building shelves!). I spent the better part of yesterday staining the counter tops we made for cabinets that we installed last week. It’s so exciting to be working on this project and I can’t wait to have it finished.

And since DH’s grandfather is overseeing and helping with the work, we are so blessed to have this time to spend with just him. They live in South Carolina, so most of the time with Grandpa is also with Grandma and the aunts and uncles. It’s such a wonderful blessing to have time with just him (not to take away at all from the blessing of time spent with the whole family…). In the past few days we’ve heard stories we’d never heard him tell, and we’re getting to know him better. We are so blessed! (Did I say that already? It’s true though!)

Grandpa and my father-in-law are coming to our house again this evening and will be staying through the rest of the week. And next week is Thanksgiving. Please forgive my sporadic posting habits! I have so many things I want to write about. Things God has been teaching me lately and some things I need to dig into and do some self-reflection on. Things like whether I’ve really made 2013 a year of fruitfulness–and trees. Things about the overwhelming power of the Holy Spirit within me that I can and must access to ward off the devil’s attacks. Things about God’s perfect timing and what he’s teaching me about his promises. Friends, I have so many things to write about, and so little time. But I know that God has given me the exact amount of time to do what he has called me to do each day. So I will trust that God has already ordained when the words are supposed to flow from me, when I am supposed to publish these things for his greatest glory.

I also really appreciate your prayers. I felt you all praying for us last week.

Thanks. Thanks to God for this day, for my amazing and wonderful husband, for the many blessings I can’t put into words and the many that I am repeating and writing down. And for this little moment to write something. I relish these moments.