Have you ever had God say "No" to one of your most fervent prayers?
Ultimately, we must acknowledge that God has a purpose in allowing His children to suffer, even if we do not or cannot know what that purpose is. Elisabeth Elliot once wrote, "Let us never forget tht some of God's greatest mercies are His refusals. He says no in order that He may, in some way we cannot imagine, say yes. All His ways are merciful. His meaning is always love."
One unknown poet expressed it this way:
Humbly I asked of God to give me joy,
To crown my life with blossoms of delight:
I begged for happiness without alloy,
Discovering that my pathway should be bright.
Prayerfully I sought out these blessings to attain
And now I thank Him that He gave me pain,
For with my pain and sorrow came to me
A dower of tenderness in act and thought,
And with the suffering came a sympathy
And insight that success had never brought
Father, I had been foolish and unblest
If Thou hadst granted me my blind request.
Take a good look at those lines again. Then fall on your knees and thank God that sometimes He says "No."
--Rocky Henriques, www.uticabc.com