It’s a ritual.
Whenever I make spaghetti, the boys linger around the stove to bum noodles off of me before they’re done.
“Can I taste?” They ask about every 2-3 minutes or so, knowing full well I’m going to extract some of the pasta from the steaming hot water, cool it, and let them enjoy its starchy flavor.
At every stage—hard, gummy, chewy, then, eventually, done—my miniature noodle samplers enjoy their taste-testing duties.
“So, what do you think?” I ask their opinions as if I’m unsure whether the cook time has expired.
They nod approvingly when time comes to dump the contents of my large pot into the strainer and rinse.
Even afterward, they continue to beg.
After a few times, though, I give out my obligatory, “Alright, that’s all until dinner boys,” not wanting Kedar and Kaleb to fill themselves prior to partaking of a complete meal.
Once they reach that cutoff point, they accept the verdict and run off, happily anticipating suppertime.
Quietly, I grin to myself while preparing their saucy meal. I love seeing their eyes light up when I grant their requests.
At the same time, I have to remember that they don’t always need what they want.
Despite how much pleasure I take in their joys, I still love them enough to say no when it’s in their best interest.
The same is true of God, our Father. He knows that what we crave and desperately desire, sometimes, goes against what is needful and beneficial for us. Though the Lord dearly loves us and wants us to be happy, He denies the requests that work against what is good and helpful.
Friend, “no” can be a blessing. A closed door may be protection. A relationship ending, while painful, can also be a good thing, particularly the toxic, stagnating ones.
But even though no may very well be the best thing for us, our flesh doesn’t like not getting its own way. So then, our emotions may be all over the spectrum, leaving us feeling angry, depressed, anxious, and confused over what has been forbidden.
I often say, the flesh wants what it wants, when it wants, how it wants, and with whom it wants—positive or negative.
But what if we actually gave into each urge and said yes to whatever wooed us? We would eventually destroy ourselves, our families, and our destiny, right?
God doesn’t want that to happen.
That’s why it is critical to self-regulate, by regularly checking in with God through prayer. Acknowledge Him. Seek Him as Proverbs 3:6 says. Ask His permission. And whatever He decides—yes or no—accept the answer with a grateful heart, trusting His unfailing judgment.
To help you remember that the Father knows best, I’m stirring Job 12:13 NIV into your cup of inspiration, which says, “With Him are wisdom and might; To Him belong counsel and understanding.”
When you drink down the contents of your cup, you will be reminded that, even when His will differs from yours, God’s way is the best way. His wisdom and understanding far exceeds our own, and His ways are perfect.
Even if you’re walking through a valley you want to exit and are going through a season you wish to be over right away, trust the Father’s timing. Know that He loves you and if He’s allowing this, something good will come out of these less-than-pleasant circumstances.
Now let’s pray together.
God, thank You for every no, closed door, rejection, and denial. Even though it didn’t feel good to me at the time, I know it was good for me, because Your ways are best. Please teach me to accept Your will in all things, with full assurance that Your plans are far superior to mine, and will work together to bring forth the fulfillment of my divine purpose in the earth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
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