Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Our Response to a 'No'

Entering the new year, we all are forced to look back on the year that has gone by. There is one particular event that truly shook me at the end of last year - a forceful lesson that God decided to teach me. While I struggled learning it, and still struggle digesting it, I'm grateful for it as it has surfaced my incompetency and my constant need to trust the Savior.

There were prayers last year, which were answered with a heart breaking 'No', regarding my university applications. I'm ashamed to say that I was slightly upset with God for not fulfilling a dream I've longed for, for over 10 years. 
When life slumps down on us, dropping us into such pits of despair and disappointment, there are two common responses...
1. We can choose to let our anger and resentment towards God fester and grow our heart cold.
2. We can trust Him, despite our disappointment and hold onto His promises.

The first option is the easier, however, on the long term, it is spiritually unhealthy - in fact it is the carnal option out of the two. By growing cold towards God, not only do we fail to see His beautiful and powerful hand at work in our lives, we also close the doors through which He blesses us. Eventually, we will lose the joy of our salvation - King David will be happy to tell you and me that, that is the worst experience ever, hence his heartfelt cry, "Restore to me the joy of Your salvation".

The latter option, is what I eventually chose. God promises Israel through Jeremiah, that He has 'plans to prosper [them] and not to harm [them], plans to give [them] a hope and a future'. Elsewhere, He promises that 'all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and seek His purposes'. His 'No' and 'Not yet' should assure us that He has a better plan; it should lead us to trust Him and rely on Him more. His ways ARE higher than our own and thus we cannot question Him. Also, He uses these periods to draw near to us, He teaches us a few lessons to make our walk with Him more worthwhile, meaningful and enjoyable.

Looking back, I am glad it was a 'No'. My university applications are still uncertain, however, there is a peace within me which He has given. I am assured that He has the best in store and is weaving this situation into something beautiful which He will unveil to me soon. I have learnt to trust His ways more and have recognized areas of my life where I had slacked and need to amend.

If you are in a similar position, dealing with a 'No' or a 'Not yet' from God, remember, you can go down one of two paths, the one you choose will make all the difference.


While I pondered on what exactly to write on this post, my mind was just consumed by the hymn with which we began the new year at church. This beautiful hymn summarizes all I want to convey - this is my prayer for you and for me.
For those who do not know the Savior, make haste, time is running out! My wish for you this year is that you open your heart to what He has done for you on the Cross. Those who truly seek Him, find Him.
For those who profess to follow the Lord, reignite the fire! My wish is that we fall deeper in love with the Savior and courageously proclaim it to win many souls for Christ. May we also practice what we passionately preach.
Wishes for a happy, prosperous, blessed and a God-centered New Year.

May the mind of Christ my Savior
live in me from day to day,
by His love and power controlling
all I do and say.

May the Word of Christ dwell richly
in my heart from hour to hour,
so that all may see I triumph
only through His power.

May the peace of Christ my Savior
rule my life in everything,
that I may be calm to comfort
sick and sorrowing.

May the love of Jesus fill me,
as the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing,
this is victory.

May I run the race before me,
strong and brave to face the fog,
looking only unto Jesus
as I onward go.

May His beauty rest upon on me
as I seek the lost to win,
and may they forget the channel,
seeing only Him.