By Lynn Cowell
Why have you said, “no”, God?
The whole situation didn’t make sense. The job opening fit me perfectly. Lining up with the same passions I had, I just knew God made me aware of this opportunity so I could move forward in my plans for ministry. Yet now, all the doors were closing and I couldn’t figure out why.
As years passed, I continued being stuck. I kept looking back, wondering why God had kept that opportunity from me. Maybe there was something more I could have done to make it work? Why didn’t I try harder? Even though time went by, I wasn’t any closer to seeing my dreams come to pass or understanding why God kept me from the seemingly perfect position.
I think Sarai, Abram’s wife, felt stuck too. God promised her and Abram offspring as many as the stars in the heavens. (Genesis 15:5)Yet time is ticking. Sarai is growing old and she has yet to have a child.
Finally, she reaches her breaking point; she won’t wait any more!
“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Genesis 16:1-2 (NIV)
Maybe Sarai felt God had forgotten her and it was time to take matters into her own hands. She’d get a child without God and maneuver whatever she needed to in order to get what she wanted.
She got it all right. A pregnancy and a whole lot of trouble. When Hager became pregnant, she also became haughty, looking down on Sarai. Now Sarai was more miserable than before.
If only she had waited instead of manipulated.
Like Sarai, I had a hard time waiting on God. I couldn’t understand what was taking Him so long! Yet, when He did answer my prayer, opening the perfect position down the road from my home instead of a thousand miles away, it all made sense. So often, as I take that short drive, I find myself very thankful. I wasn’t waiting for nothing. I was waiting for Him to make the move, not me.
If we can wait and not manipulate, God promises us He is always at work for our good and His glory. We can trust, even when the situation seems to be going the wrong way, His way will be best. We must simply wait and trust.
When we wait and see God’s goodness come to pass, we create a history with God. These collections of faith moments, when we have seen God come through, build a foundation for our faith. They build us up so we can trust Him again and again.
These stories, these faith-building encounters with God, are the same stories I share with my kids, helping them to trust God with their dreams for the future as well. Helping them to also learn to wait and not manipulate.
Think of the situations you find your girls in? Wanting to date that guy in first block? Trying to get on the theatre teacher’s good side to get the lead role? Doing everything the coach says so he’ll move her up to varsity?
Share with your daughter your stories of when you waited and saw God’s faithfulness. Also, share those times when you have not waited, and like Sarai, it turned out all wrong. Together, we can help our girls learn it is best to wait and not manipulate.
Need a tool to help your daughter learn to wait on God? Check out Lynn’s newest release: Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants. Connect with Lynn more on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at Lynn Cowell.