GRATITUDE MONDAY WITH LESLIE BRISCOE
Do you consider the "no's" a praise?
I came across this story on a blog I was reading Monday in between meetings and reports. It caught my attention because I keep a prayer journal in which I write prayer requests from friends and family and in this article the author shared her way of tracking her prayer requests – she uses a key ring and laminated tags to write each request. I liked the idea of because it’s portable and it’s probably easier to find the prayers vs. me going thru pages and pages of my journal. Anyway – her blog made me think also about how we must learn to truly recognize God’s presence in our lives when He doesn’t seem to be answering our prayers and the importance of tracking the no’s. Below is a portion of her blog:
Whenever I consider a prayer answered, I write PRAISE on the tag and physically move that tag to the front. Seeing all those praise tags each time I move a new one has been a huge faith builder in my life.
One day, however, I realized I was writing PRAISE only when God said YES to my request. For example: “New job for my husband.” PRAISE! I moved that baby to the front when he accepted his new job. But what about all those tags still left hanging, with no praise? I felt God asking me to go deeper with Him. I felt Him asking me to consider His NO’s as answered prayers as well. That is when I began to trace my NO’s from the Lord.
One of the first NO’s my children will learn about in our faith journal happened a long time ago, but it’s a big one. The summer after my junior year in college, I applied to be a summer orientation leader. I thought I was a shoo-in for this position. I LOVED my school and I am pretty perky, if I do say so myself. Well, they clearly did not want my kind of perky representing their school to incoming freshman. I didn’t get in, and I have to admit, it was a serious blow to my ego at the time. So, I had to figure out alternate plans for that summer and I ended up with a demanding internship instead. Now, here’s where it gets interesting.
The following year, I started interviewing for my first job out of college. I applied for a position with a prestigious consulting firm in New York City and I was considered a candidate for the job only because of this specific internship experience. Simply put, I got the job…and guess where I met my husband? That’s right — at that firm in NYC! I could literally trace it all back to God saying NO to the orientation leader position at my college.
God said NO, but only because He wanted to lead me to the love of my life, the single most important blessing I’ve ever received, and the reason I have the privilege of a family to teach about faith!
I share this with you today because I think that once each of us begins looking at God’s no’s in our life, we will find example after example of how He led us to better things. We just have to track them. God’s no’s are another way in which God expresses his overwhelming love for us. Can you imagine how powerful this tool will be if we use it to witness to our kids, friends and family when they come to us with what seems like an unanswered prayer? The goal is that they will learn from us that God is always there and always working in our best interest – always causing everything to work together for good.
Words of wisdom
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