Who doesn’t love an “answer”? A hot and ready, extra special, waited-all-week-for-this-and-its-finally-here answer? It’s like an addiction that in it’s own right, can be a very blessed thing. But what do you do if the answer is just a firm but simple no?
When I was younger, I loved to pick apart answers. Answers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; pretty answers all the way down to logical fallacies that really shouldn’t have been said in the first place. Give me a dime and I’ll dish you an answer, and before noon we’ll have enough to break my piggy bank.
God doesn’t really work like that. The answers that I love weren’t meant to be answers alone, they were/are/will be meant to be instruction, and as fruition comes, solution. Sometimes the worst, most obvious, most hated, most “couldn’t-you-have-cooked-me-something-different” kind of answers fall under the category of “no”. Which is really freaking confusing.
No can be for good things. That doesn’t really make sense, unless God wants an even better thing. On track to accept a blessing, and the answer comes up “no”. Do you lose your mind? Because let me tell ya, it’s tempting.
On the one hand, I could struggle to deny the no. I reject your authority. You don’t know what you’re talking about. You don’t know better than me.
On the other hand, that is the stupidest thing you or I have ever heard, given that God is God, and I am not. So we’re stuck with a no.
If you want to give naturally, or have been grafted into that gift, a “no” can sound like a curse word. No. I refuse to help. I refuse to give of what I have. There is nothing in this world that gives me more joy than giving, but even with a blessing like that, let me be real for a second and say that if God steps in and tries to wrestle away that opportunity to give, I can get just as sassy and mad as if I hadn’t been given the blessing in the first place. You can tell that it’s not mine to give by how I react. I pitch a fit. Better just be a “no”, I guess.
What if you aren’t meant to give in that way? Or if what you have to give is meant to be more? What if it’s too early to give? What if it won’t make sense for a while, but because I said so dang it, you will do it? It’s crunch time to follow. You just have to do what I say.
It gets kind of dicey. Even the “adult” thing to do sometimes is to pitch a fit, not necessarily evidenced by what adults DO, but the nonsense counsel THEY SAY. People get straight up offended when you don’t have an answer. Blasphemy! Surely there would be a better reason!
“Well, there’s not. And if there is, I’m just as blind as you are to figure out why. And we’re both going to just have to keep trucking for a bit, because it sucks just as much for us both, and if it’s an answer that only seems missing from my life, it may in fact suck for me more. And I love you to pieces, but the answers are just few and far between. The very best thing for you to do right now would be to simply walk with me. I’ll be sure to share the answer once it arrives. Don’t forget, I love you.”
The same words I would say to a friend are probably similar to what I imagine God would say to me, except he already knows. Take away the part in the middle that seems selfish and human, and we’ve got what I imagine his response would look like: “I know. It sucks. I love you. Keep going.”
We can throw lots of marvelous fits, but for the sake of sanity and also, the Gospel, let’s not. Our lives are too short. They really don’t matter all that much anyways, except in terms of what you can give. If giving becomes greater than the Giver, it’s not really a gift at that point, is it? You could be completely genuine with all the love and marvelous intentions, but sometimes the answer is just no. And because it’s not my no, that has to be okay.