Sometimes God Says “No” by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Have you ever prayed fervently for a situation, believing that God could turn it around, but that didn’t happen?

I have been praying for the past few months for a sweet little premature baby, the child of pastors, born at twenty-five weeks and weighing only about twelve ounces. At first, it seemed like an impossibility that she’d survive, but as time went on, I began to believe and pray that the God of the impossible would not only save this child but she would one day share her testimony.

On Wednesday night, at our POP Chat meeting on Zoom, the subject was “Why All Things are Possible with God” and knowing that God can move mountains through us, ten of us prayed for this little girl to live. We believed!

But two days ago our prayers fell to the floor with a thud. The little girl passed away and I subsequently had a faith crisis.

I prayed believing you could do this, LORD. Why did you say no?

Last night during an online prayer vigil for the family of this child, our pastor reminded us that bad things happen to good people. He took us to Job where he said the sin of Job’s friends was forgetting who God is. They thought Job had done something wrong to endure so much trouble even though he was considered “blameless and upright,” a man who “feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1). But in the midst of all of his tragedy, Job was the one who never gave up on God. After his life was restored he concluded this about his Maker: “I know you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2).

So sometimes God says no, and who are we to question Him? While we are still mourning for this young family, we have to trust that this tragic loss is a part of a grand and glorious plan that we don’t understand at this time.

Perhaps you are still angry with God because He didn’t answer your prayer the way you wanted. Today will you let that go and remember your heavenly Father’s eternal attributes? He is a good God who loves deeply. Loss is painful, but we must continue to trust His decisions in the midst of the mourning. Don’t stop praying but understand that sometimes He says “no.”

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