No is an interesting word. It is almost universally understood, but it is not our favorite word when spoken in response to a request. However, no is a very useful word. For instance, “No, you can’t play in the traffic,” is a valuable use of the word no. When raising my children I often used no in response to their appeals. They didn’t like it, but the no answer gave me time to think about the repercussions of their request. They were delighted when the decision was reversed.
My Heavenly Father has said no to me a number of times. I recall an incident some 25 years ago. I had discovered an opportunity to apply for a teaching job on California’s central coast. I love the central coast, and my wife grew up there. So I applied for the position. One night while I was waiting to hear from the school, I had a dream. In the dream, my wife and I were on a roller-coaster. Before the thrill of the big drop, the tracks took a flat weaving diversion. We had stopped the car and gotten out to redirect the tracks to go immediately to the drop. When I awoke, I knew this dream was from the Lord. As I prayed, the Lord showed me that the dream indicated I was rushing ahead of his plan for us. The next day, I got a call for an interview. I declined. I put the tracks back where they belonged and got back in the car.
The Lord had said no, but it was only for a season. About ten years later, we had the opportunity to move to the central coast and spend a productive five years there. We had finally reached the big drop. Who knows what would have happened if I had ignored the Lord’s caution and moved there too soon? Only he does. Isn’t it good to know we have an all knowing father that says no? He knows what is best for us, and we can trust him. Even when he leads us down a difficult path, he walks beside us. His path is the best path. I don’t always like the direction he sends me, but I am always blessed when I follow him.