When God’s No is Better than a Yes

Every morning, as soon as I arrive in the office I usually do some light reading. I go to news websites like Gulfnews.com, Inquirer.net or Khaleejtimes.com just to know what’s happening around me. I also check business websites to see how the stock market is doing, and know about the latest in the business world. Then I go through LinkedIn to check for updates, new leads, and some random stuff. I usually read posts from Francis Kong, one of the most respected speakers in the Philippines, for some Positivity and Motivation, Artin Eskander for Spiritual and Biblical Insights, and Oleg Vishnepolsky for his insights on Managing People, and some light stories related to people and the workplace. Today, as I opened my office computer and started on my daily routine of morning reading I came across this story and thought of sharing it. It’s a very short story, but very meaningful. So please bear with me, and enjoy reading.

So the story goes like this.

A jobless man applied for the position of “office boy” at a large company.
The employer interviewed him, then a test: Clean the floor.
“You are hired.” The employer said. ”Give me your email address, and I’ll send you the application to fill in.”
The man replied, “I don’t have a computer, or an email.”
“I’m sorry,” said the employer, “if you don’t have an email , you can’t have the job.”
The man left with no hope. He only had £10 in his pocket.
He then decided to go to the supermarket, bought a 10 kg tomato crate, then sold them door to door. In two hours, he doubled his capital.
He repeated this 3 times and returned home with £60. The man realized that he could survive this way. He started to go everyday earlier and returned late.
Five years later, the company was one of the biggest food retailers.
He started to plan his family’s future and decided to have a life insurance.
He called a broker and chose a protection plan.
The conversation concluded, the broker asked him his email.
The man replied: “I don’t have an email.”
The broker replied curiously, “You don’t have an email, and yet have succeeded to build an empire. Imagine what position you could have if you had an email?!”
The man paused and replied: “An office boy”

So what is this story trying to teach us? The story teaches us that just because we didn’t get what we wanted so much, or pursued so tirelessly it doesn’t mean that it’s game over for us. Or maybe we’ve been praying for something so long, maybe a dream car, and house, or even partner in life- and didn’t get it. It’s not the end of everything. The man in the story got rejected from a position as office boy, lost hope- BUT, he did not dwell on the situation. Instead, he came up with a way to work with whatever he had left, and after doing so, realized the opportunity in front of him, seized it and built an empire on it.

No matter how hard we try, sometimes things just don’t always work out the way we want them to, but what matters more is not the situation itself but how we respond to it. It’s our attitude and response to a situation that makes all the difference, just as it did for the man in the story.

A lot of times we pray for the things in this life that we desire most. But sometimes those prayers don’t get answered, and we get frustrated. We get angry. What we need to understand though is that God does not always answer our prayers with a Yes. In some cases, it’s actually a No. Why?  Because it’s not HIS will. Remember the Lord’s Prayer? “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name. Your kingdom, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” God sometimes answers our prayers with a No because, although we wanted something so bad and prayed for it endlessly, God already had something better in mind. Something way bigger than we ever thought possible or imagined. We may not understand it at that moment, and at times even feel that He betrayed our trust, but God who is the Alpha and the Omega already had things planned for us even before we were born, and therefore knows what’s best for us.

Jer29-11
Photo credits: http://www.wallquotes.com/

When things don’t go our way it’s normal, and human to despair. To feel sad. To feel as if everything is against you. At times you might even say, and feel that God hates you. That there is no God. I know this because at some point in my life that’s exactly how I felt. In fact, I even cursed God for all the bad things that happened in my life back then. But if we truly know God then we will know and understand that during times of hardship, God is at work in our lives. There is a lesson to be learned. In times of hardship, God is working on our character. Be humble, and check yourself. There is most likely an area in your life that God wants you to work on. A true test of a man’s character after all is not in times of comfort, but in times of adversity.  Adversities build up our resilience and character. God wants us to be happy, to have the good things in life, but He is more concerned about our character than our comfort. What good does is do to a man when he has all the luxuries in life, but is of poor and weak character?

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. “

Martin Luther King, Jr.

God has pre-destined all of us for greatness, and if we learn how to seek Him, depend on Him and really get to know Him, then we will see that He is good, and know that in the end, He will give us the desires of our hearts.

Matthew 6:33

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Have faith. Trust that God is good, and that He knows what’s best for you. Let go of the idea that you are in control. Humble yourself and submit yourself to the fact that God is sovereign, and that He is in control and not you.

Thanks for reading!

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