2017-06-13 - Just Say No
Sometimes God has to say no to us, just as we, ourselves, sometimes have to say that unpleasant word. Right after a good friend met our rescue dog Shiloh, and could see how much we already loved her, the friend predicted "ohhh she is going to get everything she ever wants." And she certainly called that one rightly! One of the reasons we believe that God put Shiloh in our lives, is to make up for her previous years when she was living on the street, totally blind in both eyes and all alone, fending for herself and hungry. We cherish her, love her and keep her as safe as humanly possible.
We buy her the safest and healthiest dog food we can find, as well as plenty of special treats that she enjoys. We would love to give her a treat every time she asks.However, we know that wouldn't be for her good. She would become so overweight that it would be bad for her joints and probably shorten her life, as well. So while it is never easy, we sometimes we have to say NO, for her good. Back when Ronald Reagan was President, his wife Nancy had a cause of her own. She felt very strongly concerned about the wide-spreading drug addiction and its effects on the addicts as well as their families, friends and sometimes total strangers. Don't ever believe it when people say that "drugs are a victimless crime;" after working in the justice system, I can tell you that many people are victims, including victims of violence whose perpetrators normally weren't violent but did commit acts of violence after smoking marijuana, taking meth or other drugs,or after drinking too much. She was right. So she started a slogan that was cruelly and ignorantly mocked at the time. She told people to "just say no" to drugs. I doubt many people are laughing now, as we are encountering an opioid epidemic that is taking over and ruining lives - and even risking the lives of the first responders, as there is one particular drug that can be lethal to even breathe in ,when you are near it.
After someone is addicted, it's more difficult to say no, but we all need to say no to bad things to start with, and there is some ability for addicts to say no afterward, just not as much.
So Mrs. Reagan was right, Richard and I are right to say no to Shiloh, parents are right to sometimes say no to their children, colleges and high schools need to say no sometimes to students for their good and maturity - and sometimes, God Himself has to say no to us, for our good. Perhaps you have personally experienced this; I have. Sometimes we confuse "needs" with "wants." God says yes to our God-given needs, but sometimes He says no to our "wants;" He has to, because he knows more than us and because He loves us and wants what is best for us. So if you are dealing with something for which you yearn day and night, ask God to help you to discern if it's a "no," or a "later." If it's a "later," just ask Him for patience, but if it is a "no," ask Him to help you avoid situations that will include it (like drug-taking or law-breaking friends),to accept it and move onward. If it's a situation such as one that relates to health or work,we need to ask Him to help us make the best of what we have, and to even use it for HIS glory and purpose.
And we all need to remember that we all have to hear and say no, at some time, because of God's love.