God is very accommodating, and I appreciate him for that. I can’t think of too many prayers he hasn’t answered to my liking or longings in me that he has left unfulfilled. Maybe that’s why I struggle when he says no and means it. I have mixed feelings about him when he will not honor my requests; when there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. No, this threat won’t end. No, your child won’t recover. No, this cup of suffering can’t be avoided. No. No. No. No from the Almighty is a shattering demonstration of raw power. All we can do is sit in stunned silence and revere his absolute certainty.
Ezekiel and other prophets had the unenviable task of saying no to God’s people on his behalf. They told them, “I will not look on them with pity or spare them. Although they shout in my ears, I will not listen to them” (Ezekiel 8:18). Sometimes no is the only answer that accomplishes God’s purposes. It’s something we need to hear to remember who he is and completely submit to his will.
I don’t take no for an answer well. I’ll grit my teeth and try one more plea from another angle. “Perhaps, Lord, you didn’t hear me right.” “Maybe you don’t get what’s at stake here.” But when he still says no, all that I have left to say is a thoroughly humble, “Your will be done.”