The Mercy of “No” and “Not Yet”

When Mark and I were stepping out in faith to establish Blue Fire Legacy, the Lord gave us several heads-up impressions so we could prepare and be ready.  However, in my naivety, I would rush ahead and He would have to tell me, “Not yet.” I often tell people about my two-year warning about packing the house to move in the context of having to learn to listen more closely to timing prompts.

It was a season of multiple ongoing changes.  One of which, we thought, was that God was asking us to downsize from a 5 bedroom/3 ½ bathroom home to live in a Class A Diesel Pusher full-time.  We would lie awake at night discussing the desired features after having looked at several on-line and in person. Blue on the exterior, rich dark cherry cabinets, at least 3 slides, a bath & ½ for when we hold appointments, a dishwasher….

We also discussed what we were going to do with our furniture, family photos, etc. Most material items I would willingly part with, but there were a few sentimental pieces of furniture that I wished to keep.  I didn’t wind up keeping all those pieces. 

When it was time, we purged our belongings. We sold, gave away, and threw away possessions, and then began re-evaluating what was left to start the process all over again.  By the way, I’m simply NOT a garage sale kind of gal so this was a tedious task for sure. Once we had pared down to what we felt we could keep, we arranged for storage. 

Pursuing the RV

Then, we pursued the RV, but there were no funds.  Even when we received RV contributions, we maxed out at $4000.  There isn’t much available in that price range, and the vehicles that are for sale in the low dollar range need major renovations.  In light of the realization that we were not able to purchase an RV for the ministry, we really struggled with questions like, 

“Did we misunderstand God’s instructions?”

“Did we completely miss it?”

“Did we do something wrong?”

One day, as I was pondering all of this, I came to the place of recognition that His “No” for the RV we desire, is actually a very merciful answer that in reality is, “Not yet.”  

Character Testing and Refining

There was a lot of character testing and refining occurring, but it was more about our willingness than anything else.  He is pleased with our willingness to live full-time in an RV but, to date, has not required the sacrifice of us. He knows us better than we know ourselves.  That includes knowing our personality inclinations toward a home base, a place to come back to and rejuvenate, reconnect with community, etc. We still downsized, but He miraculously provided a small home we could purchase outright.

We believe strongly that the RV is still a coming provision and resource for the ministry.  There are pieces of what we are to do through Blue Fire Legacy that necessitate travel and extended lodging.  In this case, the mercy of the answer “not yet” prevented us from paying money we didn’t have for insurance, storage, and upkeep on a vehicle we are not yet positioned to utilize.

The Answer May Really be No

There are instances when God definitively says, “No.”  It isn’t like the circumstances above where it is an instruction to wait.  

God told David he couldn’t build the Temple.  It was a clear no with a reason. (1 Chronicles 17:1-4, 22:1-19, & 28:1-21).

God confirmed Jesus was the only perfect sacrifice and the cross was necessary. (Luke 22:39-43)

God told Paul no when he asked that the thorn in his side be removed. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

God may tell you no if you ask for a specific job, when you ask to be removed from difficult circumstances, or even if you ask for a loved one to be healed.  The answer may be no because He is completing what He started in you. The answer may be no because He is providing for another through you. None of us would have the gift of salvation if Jesus had opted out.  His answer may be no because He wants you to learn Who He truly is. With Paul, He said my grace is sufficient. Paul would not have learned to depend on God’s sufficiency in the absence of difficulty.

God told us no when we attempted to buy a house closer to Mark’s office several years ago.  At that point, we didn’t realize that we would be going into full-time ministry. It would have been an additional hardship for us if the sale went through.  He said, “No” other times; when changing phone service providers would have been unwise; when going on a mission trip would have created logistical and emotional stress at home.  He sees the big picture. There are times when “no” is the absolute best answer even if in the moment it disappoints us.

Seeking an Answer

Are there areas in your life that you received a no or not yet from God? Do you still feel heartbroken because He didn’t make you more comfortable by fulfilling your wish or signing your pre-drawn-up contract?  Perhaps there is discovery of His mercy and heart for you in the answer.  I encourage you to seek it out.

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Finding Forgiveness

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