The “No” I Wasn’t Expecting
      Have you ever prayed for something and the answer you received from the Lord was a “no”?  I mean you try to rationalize in your mind then persuade God to reconsider his decision but the answer remains “no”.  Of course I know, His prevention is my protection but here I was planning for him to affirm my choices yet he goes ahead and declines my request. And, it’s not like my request was challenging and would impact his will (so I thought) yet his final decision was simply a “no” because He knows, the thoughts that He thinks towards me, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give me an expected end (Jeremiah 29:11).
      Like I said, my plans were simple and would not hinder the calling over my life.  After years of being in Florida with two degrees and a low-paying job, I sought to move out-of-state seeking better opportunities.  I had been to plenty of interviews with almost getting the job and almost being fully hired with major companies but nothing fell through and my patience had run out.  It was clear that Florida no longer had anything here for me besides my church home and being the first author among my circle of friends.  I wanted more and there was a dissatisfaction that exploded in my belly in which I couldn’t put into words.
      It’s crazy because during this time I was at a high peak in my life. I had released a book which sold hundreds of companies and reached many people.  God was grooming me with spiritual knowledge for ministry and bringing me up before great people but I was still vacant in my soul. Have you ever wanted something so bad that it interrupted your current peace and happiness from manifesting in your life? Distracted in your wants that you can’t enjoy what God is doing in your life like a barren woman, high school senior waiting to receive his college acceptance letter, or that man desiring to be married but unable to find a wife. So of course, I felt that was the best time to make my request known to God again about changing my geographical location.
      I mean why stay in a place where I wasn’t producing economically, I could always find another church (preferably in North Carolina), my family could always come visit, God could expand my gifts in other parts of the country (make His name great), and why have me in a place where I didn’t belong.  Yes, I was pleading my repeated case to God like I was on trial: My wants vs. His will.  I even provided him with proof of my job searches and property listing inquires that I had compiled in recent months to help with the move. After all the bible says, "Faith without works is dead" (James 2:17) or "Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it" (Habakkuk 2:2). So with all of this, I was hoping that his verdict would be “yes” to moving and starting a new life but his answer was “no”. Are you kidding, man?
      I wasn’t ungrateful because God is an amazing God.  I know He loves me. I desire to do his will but those internal wants and voids are hard to avoid especially when they’ve been renting room in your heart for quite some time.  As much as you pray for those things to be removed, they seem to be the only thing on your mind.  Like, how do you adjust to being in a place where you don’t belong?  Must you remain calm and content like Joseph as he was imprisoned for a crime that he didn’t commit yet ultimately he relied on God’s promises and faithfulness? Hmm…

      Also, sometimes, we expect “yes” at all times because we are His children and do not expect to be denied anything on this earth.  The bible says that His ways are not like our ways and His thoughts are not like our thoughts.  His plan for your life will heal you of your past, prepare you in the now, and present you in your future.  His “no” can be indications of something better is lurking at your door or He is developing you to receive His desires for His timing overrides your wants.  Enjoy your season: Laugh, cry, dance, rejoice and never forget that God has you even when your back is against the wall and nothing seems to be working on your behalf.  His “no” is my protection for He "knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold." (Job 23:10).

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