I have. And it hurts. But I've also realized that sometimes God's best gifts to us are the very things He decides to withhold.
I remember not wanting to accept one of the "gifts" God was giving me, primarily because I saw it as His withholding. I struggled with not being able to have a second child. I remember "claiming" Psalm 84:11 as my promise that I would have another child: "No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly" (ɴᴀsʙ).
And yet God did withhold. Apparently what He considered a "good thing" in my life was not birthing a second child, but instead, birthing a ministry of comfort and encouragement for women.
Through the years I've seen that God's idea of a good thing (and ultimately what's best for me in my faith walk with Him) may be completely different than mine. Although my opinion has often differed from God's, I have learned to not question the wisdom and actions of an all-knowing, all-loving God who is much more capable of managing my life than I am.
I've also learned, firsthand, that when God says no He is either:
- protecting us from something we can't yet see, or
- waiting to give us something far better than we have thought to ask.
God's "gifts" sometimes take the form of difficulties, losses, frustrations, and outright pain. We don't initially see them as gifts, but more like disappointments, aggravations, or even rejection. But they are gifts, nonetheless, that are given to us to grow us to a new level in our spiritual life, or prepare us for something better that God has in store for us, or perhaps to even help us see something extraordinary about God that we couldn't see before.
I realize you might be waiting on God for something too.
- You had hoped to be married by now and you're not.
- You had hoped to have a baby by now and you haven't.
- Someone you love will not be sharing any more holidays with you.
- Those problems in your marriage are not going away.
- The healing you were hoping for hasn't come.
- That financial relief you've prayed for hasn't arrived.
Yes, the wait can be long and frustrating. But we can know that the One who is withholding has your very best at heart.
Oh, my friend, God has His reasons for why He has allowed or prevented something from happening in your life. And it's not because He doesn't love you or doesn't see your tears. It's very possible that He wants to bless you from another angle. And it's very likely He wants you to realize that the one thing you need the most—your one missing piece—is Himself.
What is your heart longing for this holiday season? Let me know in the comments section below so I can encourage you in the days ahead.
Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker and award-winning author who helps women find strength for the soul. Her newest release, When God Sees Your Tears, helps women find hope and encouragement that God is in control of every aspect of their lives and He can turn their longings—and their losses—into a legacy. For more on her books or for resources to strengthen your soul, marriage, and relationships with God and others, see her website: www.strengthforthesoul.com.
Discover more encouragement for resting in the Lord in one of Rebecca Ondov's inspirational horse stories.