“We don’t swim in the toilet!” No.
“Don’t feed your breakfast to the dog!” No.
“Don’t eat MY breakfast!” No.
“Don’t pee on the floor!” No.
Whew! You guessed it: these are some commonly overheard phrases in my home. Life with a toddler- what a season! Some days I feel like all I do is utter the word ‘no’ to her in one way or another. It’s a frustration to constantly speak it, but I can, in fact, accurately imagine that it’s frustrating to be on the receiving end of that word as well.
But why do I tell her no, or forbid her from doing things? Is it because I’m a big ol’ bully who just wants to be boss? Of course not. I don’t let her splash in the toilet because, germs. I don’t let her feed the dog because she needs the fuel herself. I don’t let her steal my food because, well, some things are meant for Mom. And I don’t let her pee on the floor because other people need to use that part of the house, too.
Hmm. Sounds like some of the reasons God may tell us ‘no’. Sometimes things are bad for us. Some decisions take away something we need. Some things are simply not meant for us, and some bad choices make messes for other people.
God is compassionate. Despite how it feels, and despite our limited understanding, He doesn’t ever tell us ‘no’ or take away simply because He can. For every ‘no’ there is a reason. Like I tell my kids- I don’t ask them to do/not to do things for nothing. There is always a purpose! Sometimes it’s to their benefit, and sometimes it’s to protect the interest of others. God sees the whole picture; so far beyond what we could even imagine. He knows every detail and all that is to come. Even in our doubt or disappointment, let’s choose to trust His ‘no’s’.
“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can.”
Ecclesiastes 3:11-12 NLT