Written by Anne Roby
“David summoned all the officials of Israel to assemble at Jerusalem: the officers over the tribes, the commanders of the divisions in the service of the king, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of all the property and livestock belonging to the king and his sons, together with the palace officials, the warriors and all the brave fighting men. King David rose to his feet and said: ‘Listen to me, my fellow Israelites, my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it. But God said to me, “You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.”‘
1 Chronicles 28:1-3
David had it on his heart to do a noble thing for God – to build God a house, a place for the ark. David had a palace; God had a tent. To David, that was wrong. David probably believed God had even put it on his heart. He made plans to construct God’s house and even chose to sacrifice a large amount of his own wealth to build it. How could it not be God’s will? Wasn’t that noble? Wasn’t that selfless? How could God say no to that? But He did. God told David no. And it wasn’t the only time. God also told David no when David prayed for his infant son to be spared. Now that may not seem as noble or as selfless, but come on, his son was an infant! How did David react when God said no to building the temple? He didn’t get angry, sulk or become apathetic. Instead, David prayed and thanked God for the good He did for him! How did David react when God said no to sparing his son? He didn’t run from God or refuse to speak to Him. David went into the house of the Lord and worshiped.
“David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. ‘Is the child dead?’ he asked.
“‘Yes,’ they replied, ‘he is dead.’
“Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.”
2 Samuel 12:19-20
What an example! I want to be like David when God says no to me.
I did have three months to pray for a miracle of no Down syndrome when I was pregnant with Barrett – but God said no to that and gave me a son with Down syndrome. God has said no many other times to many other things. But you know what I’ve seen come from those times? I’ve seen my faith grow when God says no – maybe not right away but that has been the ultimate result. I end up realizing I have nowhere to turn but to trust in God’s plan. Barrett most recently has had a very tough time and is regressing – I’ll explain more in a later post – but suffice it to say we are now seeing a psychiatrist. We’re on our second one, actually, because the first one I had to educate on Down syndrome and I felt like I was suggesting the treatments. I’ve prayed constantly for God to help us find the right medications, the right treatment, and nothing seems to help. God keeps saying no – or at least, “not yet.” It’s been painful to watch Barrett change into a different person who is not capable of doing things we once dreamed he would do. I wonder when things will get better. I feel sad when I see other young adults growing and changing and working and dreaming, and I wonder why not Barrett? So I have to wrestle once again with God’s plans.
The funny thing is I think my faith has grown from the no’s. Those no’s mean I have to continually surrender to God’s plan for Barrett’s life and that is helping me be at peace with His plan. It’s not like I can control what medications work – only God can do that. I don’t know if God wants Barrett to get better (or at least my version of better). I have to surrender that this just might be God’s will for Barrett’s life. I have seen time and time again that when I decide to surrender, God never ever lets me down and that His way is always the best way. All that really matters is God’s will for Barrett’s life. Just like us parents have to say no to our own children sometimes, God does the same – and I’m now convinced it is always for our benefit, even if just the benefit of growing in our faith!
- How do you handle it when God says no to you?
- Why not try it David’s way?