Even if God says no He is still good featured image
Infertility,  Soul

Even When His Answer is No, God is Still Good

It is beautiful when God answers your heart’s prayer with a miraculous answer. In those moments when we experience clear evidence of our Father’s favour it is easy to believe that God is good and He loves us. Unfortunately, in this sin-cursed world, these miracles are the exception, rather than the norm. More often than not our Lord delays his answer, calling us to a season of waiting. Other times, even when we persevere in prayer and continue to wait (im)patiently, He does not give us what we want but rather answers with a “no”. As hard as it is to keep faith in the waiting, can we still believe God is good when he says no?

This month Prince Charlie and I celebrate ten years in our home. This was the home we built to raise our dream family. We envisioned endless bicycle rides down the driveway and colourful toys all over the play area. Instead, we have a pristine home that is quiet and peaceful. There is no evidence of a mess and no high-pitched giggles. Even though this is not the life I dreamed of, it is a beautiful life, and, after almost nine years of fighting infertility, I can finally say that even in these circumstances God is still good.

Carl and Lynette on Mothers Day 2019

Learning in the Waiting

In the early days of monthly disappointments of negative tests and empty arms, I looked to online women’s bible studies and worship songs to console me while the tears flowed. One of these songs is “Even If” by MercyMe. This song alludes to the story of Daniel’s friends who are cast in the blazing furnace in Daniel 3. They tell Nebuchadnezzar that they know God could save them, but even if he decides not to save them they would not bow down to the king (Daniel 3:17-18).

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.

Daniel 3:17-18
Daniel 3 verse 18

In the beginning, I related this story to myself as a place-holder: until God fulfils my desires I will believe He is good. In the meantime, I was serving the god of motherhood and it was taking over my life. I became so consumed with my desires that my only explanation for my unmet desires was that God must not love me and that all the hard work I had done for him meant nothing.

I know – it is shocking how unbiblical and sinful I viewed my relationship with God. I wholeheartedly believed that God would reward my “good behaviour” and that I had earned his blessing.

Astonishingly, God could even use my sinful self-righteousness to bring me closer to Him.

Grasping the Gospel

It didn’t happen in a single moment, but over many months and years of trying to figure out how my story fit into God’s plan, the Lord pointed me to the gospel. The truth is that I am a sinner and my best efforts at being “good” are like “filthy rags” before the Lord (Isaiah 64:6). Nothing I can do can earn his favour and no amount of striving can compel him to give me the desires of my heart. God is not my genie. God is my Creator and my King. He owes me nothing. My sinful nature deserves eternal punishment. Yet, he loves me so much that He saved me from eternal death through Jesus’ death on the cross. He gave himself for me. That is all the evidence I need to know that He loves me.

Lynette and Carl on signal hill

God is Always Good.

God cared for me and used the most devastating moments of my life to unveil His true character to me. God is always good, regardless of my circumstances. God is always loving, despite my perception of that love. Most importantly, God is always in control, even when my world seems to be falling apart.

Sometimes God has to bring us to our lowest low point for us to see our need for him. This moment for me was when I left the hospital after our failed adoption – empty-handed and broken-hearted. I could not understand why He had brought us this far to allow such utter devastation to befall us. However, the search for his true character opened my heart to the truth of who He is through His Word.

God is still Good PInterest

With my human limitations, I will never know why God did not stop the process of the adoption before it got so out of hand. Yet, in his wisdom, he saved us from a lifetime of hardship and even used the legal repercussions as an opportunity for a marvellous testimony of answered prayers – not only our own but many of our brothers and sisters. In these moments the true meaning of Romans 8:28 comes to light, even though it can be one of those abused coffee cup verses.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28
Romans 8 verse 28

The Answer is No

Over the last few months, Prince Charlie and I have come to accept that it is probably not God’s will for us to raise children of our own this side of heaven. I know you want to send me a message now with encouragement of examples like Sarah who had a son when she was “as good as dead” (Romans 4:19), and other examples in scripture. But God did not promise us a child and we must face the facts. Physically it is now almost impossible for me to have children. We have considered trying adoption again but our hearts have been broken so badly we can’t face that again. Most importantly, if we are honest, God has said “no” at every attempt we have made to try and have children. Perhaps it is finally time to lay down our plans and accept his good and wise decisions for our lives.

Lynette holding teddy bear during adoption shoot

This is not as easy as flipping a switch. Some days the aching longing rears its head and the familiar dreams and hopes flicker in the back of my mind. Other days I wish for a small body to hug and tell all about the love of Jesus. And then there are days like Mother’s Day when I have to make peace with the reality that this will never be a day where I will be celebrated with hand-painted cards and fluffy slippers. It is not in God’s plan for my life.

On these hard days, I can reflect on what I know to be true regardless of my feelings: God is good. God loves me. God is in sovereign control and works all things for my good and his purpose. I can decide daily to submit to his perfect plan instead of my imperfect, selfish desires.

Because He is God, and I am not.

Here is the song I mentioned earlier – Even If by MercyMe

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