There is a little boy in my class (we’ll call him “Davey”) who doesn’t seem to know what no means. In fact there are several kids in my class who need to be asked the question: “What does no mean?” at least once a day by me or one of the other teachers. Anyway, Davey has a particular problem with this word no. To Davey the word no seems to mean burst into tears and throw your body on the ground until the grownups give in to your every whim. It also seems to mean make an angry face, pout in the corner, negotiate, argue, kick the furniture, yell at your teacher and tell her she is not pretty… You get the picture. He doesn’t like to hear the word no.
In Davey’s defense he has come a long way in a short time and he is learning that when one of us says no we are not insulting his immortal soul, or rejecting his very being, we are just saying no. Some things that children think would be super fun would in fact maim, poison, or destroy them completely which would totally suck.
For example there are bushes that grow along the fence in the play area. These bushes are slightly toxic. Sometimes the children want to pick the berries, and leaves and eat them. We teachers say no to this activity as it could lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and a possible visit to the hospital to get your stomach pumped. Super fun! No. Also not as fun as it seems to a four year old: Running into the street! Look at all that wide open space to run!! Awesome!! NO!!! You see we grownups know that the cars that use those roads will run you over and destroy your body. Therefore running around in the street is not allowed.
I was seeking the Lord recently about something. It was something I wanted Him to say yes to, and I thought He would. I really didn’t expect Him to tell me no, but He did. In fact He told me no louder and stronger than He has ever told me no in my entire life. Not only did He tell me no, but He confirmed that no several times even though I did not ask Him to. It was a big fat no. Huge. Galactic. That no was hard to live out. In fact that no broke my heart, but I knew that it was something I could not ignore.
Sometimes obeying God is hard. Sometimes I want to eat the poison berries because it just loos like it would taste good. I mean they are red! Red is sweet like strawberries! NO!!!! You will puke and die! Stop it!
I don’t know about you but sometimes when God tells me no I act like Davey. I freak the freak out! I have even been known to kick a couch or two. Okay maybe not literally, but still. I can see how there are so many times in the past both recent and distant where Abba being the good Daddy that He is, told me no and rather than accept it and move forward I negotiated, argued, kicked, screamed, etc, and basically threw a tantrum the size of Jupiter. Part of the reason I did this is because like Davey I didn’t understand. Another part of the reasons is that I can be a bit of a control freak. Yet another reason (and the biggest one at that) is that I felt rejected when God told me no. I thought no meant something else.
No means no. No dose not mean I don’t love you. No does not mean I don’t want you to be happy. No does not mean I do not want you to have fun. No does not mean I don’t want you to see your dreams come true. No dose not mean I want you to be shattered. No simply means no. No means I love you. No means I want you to be happy. No means I want you to have fun. No means I want your dreams to come true. No means I want you to be whole.
God can see the whole picture. God’s perspective is vast! He loves me more than any human being ever has or will. If God is saying no then there is a reason. I know God is good, so if He says no then that reason is good. Not only is that reason good but it is for my good! I don’t say no to my students because I am a jerk, I say no because I want them to remain healthy, alive, happy, and so they can learn. Honestly sometimes I say no because I am tried, or I have cramps, so maybe sometimes I am a little bit of a jerk, but I am human. Thankfully God is better by far than I.
No means no. Accept it. It is yet another way that God is a good Father.
No is love.
No means no.
©Rachel Anne Redfield 2015