Let’s face it, sometimes God says no. He just does and He can, He’s God. Recently I’ve had occasion to teach my children about this side of God. We’ve been planning to go to the State Fair for months and months. It’s a Taffy Family tradition. I’ve been going since I was little girl when the state signified the end of the summer with my dad and a plane trip back out west to my mom. We’ve been taking our children since they were little too. We would always go on a thrifty day when the kidway tickets allowed for more rides and snow cones were discounted. This year we were scheduled to volunteer at an exhibit, in exchange for volunteering they received a free ticket to get in. Everybody from the 8 year old on up was going to be working.
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
Sadly, a couple days before we were scheduled to go to the fair, our oldest fell ill with a fever. A high fever. He was not better by fair date and then our second fell ill.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” James 4: 13-15
The really hard part is that the 6 year old spent so much time praying and praying for her brother. She believed that God heard her prayers When she woke up in the morning and discovered that her other brother was sick, she was heart-broken, why hadn’t God answered her prayers, why did God make her other brother sick. These were her sincere questions. And my loving response back to her was just that-God said no. But the awesome thing about God is, that even when He says no, He can still be trusted. Even when carefully laid plans go awry He can still be trusted. When we think we’ve done all that we could do to change His mind and He still says no, He can still be trusted.
“As for God, His way is perfect. The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.“For who is God, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?” Samuel 22: 31-32
So how do we teach this to our children, this attribute of God that is sovereign, that knows the future, that we allow to direct our steps as we trust Him? For us the answer is in proclaiming the Goodness of God regardless of what’s going on. People love to dissect problems and scripture and beliefs, they dissect it all the way down until there’s nothing left but doubt. My role is to make sure that when my children experience a No from God, that they still know that God is worthy to be praised and thanked. Our faith is based on believing in that which we can not see, children believe naturally without much convincing, but when they question I share with them that I know, KNOW, KNOW of the goodness of God and my need to trust in HIM no. matter. what. This is one of those lessons that is more “caught than taught.” My behavior when I experience a NO from God is what is really going to make the biggest impact.
Another thing we do is remind them of all the times God said Yes! Which are far more than the NO’s! The word is testify!
“And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen” John 21:25