Who shut the doors to keep the sea in when it broke through and was born, when I made the clouds like a coat for the sea and wrapped it in dark clouds, when I put limits on the sea and put its doors and bars in place, when I said to the sea, “You may come this far, but no farther; this is where your proud waves must stop”? [Job 38:8-11 (NCV)]
When the youngest grandchildren visited us in Florida, we were putty in their hands. But, being loving grandparents, we wanted to keep them safe and that meant saying “No!” at times. Among our precautions, the doors to the lanai remained shut and locked to keep the tykes from venturing into the pool without an adult. That’s not to say they didn’t try their level best to thwart our deterrents at every opportunity. They pled with us, made promises they couldn’t keep (“We won’t go near the water”) or resorted to tears. When that didn’t work, they tried to open the doors themselves. We love them too much not to keep them safe and know that certain situations (like toddlers and pools without supervision) require locked doors and firm denials. The little guys, however, simply thought we were being mean keeping them from having their way.
We are God’s children and, like my youngest grands, we often don’t have much common sense when it comes to what we desire. We pray and plead, wheedle and whine for something. When God doesn’t grant our prayers, we often console ourselves by saying that He isn’t denying us; He’s only delaying His affirmative answer. We just need to pray more and try harder to make it happen. Sometimes, however, God’s denials are just that—denials. He may even shut and lock doors to keep us from trying to take matters into our own hands. Just like toddlers, there are times we need doors closed and locks secured for our own protection.
When I look back at some of the things for which I’ve prayed, I can only say “Thank you, God, for blocking my way!” It is only in retrospect, however, that I appreciate God’s denials of my prayers and the ways He deterred me. I clearly had no idea what I was asking for in my prayers, but He did and, in His heavenly wisdom, kept me from making some enormous mistakes simply by obstructing my path. Thank you, God, for loving me enough to say “No!”
After we have made our requests known to Him, our language should be, “Thy will be done.” I would a thousand times rather that Gods’ will should be done than my own. [D. L. Moody]