November 2012
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Surprised By God

After 10 years of renting in a charming location, we discovered that our landlord suddenly needed to sell the house. I asked God to change the circumstances and make it possible for my wife and me to stay in this place we’d made home, where we’d watched our children grow up. But God said no.

When it comes to my needs, I worry that I’m asking for the wrong thing or that I’m not worthy of the request I’m making. But God’s no doesn’t need to shake our faith when we’re grounded—surrounded I like to say—in His love. In Ephesians 3, Paul understood that those who know the love of Christ intimately (vv.16-17) can trust God to have a loving reason for saying no.

Shortly after hearing “no” from God about my request, friends from church offered to rent us a home they were vacating. Our new location—with new appliances, new plumbing, new electrical wiring, and an extra bedroom—sits on the ocean, an idyllic scene of ships, sails, and sounds that daily remind us that God is bigger than any issue we face. Our loving Father used loving friends to give more than we asked.

Whether God gives us more than we imagined or far less than we desired, we can trust that His plans are much better than ours.

Lord, we know that You are good whether Your answers
to our prayers are abundantly more than we asked or
much less than we desire. Help us to accept whatever
comes to us from Your hand. Thank You.
When God says no to our request,
we can be sure it’s for the best.