The power of No
I do my best thinking on the treadmill these days. Maybe it’s the perspiration or the endorphins that gives my spiritual cortex a keenness I don't expect when idling. I was drawn to the passage in Matthew 26:39-44 when God refused to let the cup of suffering pass from Jesus’ lips.
Three times, Jesus asked “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
Denial is an ugly noun, made uglier for the inherent meaning it carries- the refusal of the request. I’m not talking about the asking for something fence-sittingly good or a downright dumb request. I’m talking about a vehemently good request like the asking for healing for a friend dying of cancer or a plea for relief for someone going through hell and high waters. For Jesus to ask it of the Father strikes me an odd thing. Didn’t Jesus know that this was the reason for which he was sent to earth? As if that wasn’t strange enough, he asked it three times. Was it for our benefit that he asked?
“No” is a word I do not like to use. I’m a yes-person because I’ve always thought myself a positive individual but here I’m compelled to rethink the positivity of “no”. God said “no” even though God did not express it in words. It was clear he meant no since Jesus drank from the cup of God’s wrath (Jeremiah 25:15). Jesus wasn’t thinking about himself. Jesus was thinking what drinking it would fully, finally and perfectly accomplish. Defeat death in its totality.
Recently in my life, in my waiting on God to direct me to a teaching job and international homestays, I’ve sensed it a “no” throughout. I’ve sent out 12 resumes since Feb 22 and put up ads for an available room to rent to schools all around North Surrey. While God had blessed me with so many homestays before and jobs even before I finished school, this time I’m challenged to grow in my faith. The power of no is actually going to affect me positively. It’s already started. I’ve sensed God saying “no” to many things in my life before but His “no” is going to accomplish something in me that no “yes” is ever going to.
So, today being Saturday while Jesus once lay in the tomb between death and resurrection, I await tomorrow’s victory. I’m learning to accept, be thankful for and to enjoy the nos in my life as God’s guarantee for the greater good that I know He is planning for me. Oh for Sunday to arrive! Christ is Risen!