Sometimes the Answer is No
August 13, 2013 • By Ed Wrather
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. - 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NKJV.
David has had a terrible experience and his friend Jessica I’m sure also has had a terrible experience. David invited his girlfriend Jessica to a minor league baseball game in Connecticut planning to propose to her. It was all setup to be a memorable experience that the couple would remember for a lifetime. The couple was brought out onto the field by the stadium announcer telling everyone that David had something to ask his friend. David kneels on one knee in front of Jessica and asks, “Will you marry me Jessica?” As the crowd is cheering, Jessica responds, “David, I’m sorry, I can’t” and she then ran off the baseball field. (Orange 08.06.13)
We now know that the marriage proposal was a hoax and that David and Jessica were two employees who were part of a performance, a skit. Of course, the video went viral on the Internet with huge numbers of people seeing the video who will never know the failed proposal was not real. The same is probably true for some who were present at the ball park that day.
I don’t know how many marriage proposals have been rejected or how many have backed out prior to the marriage. I think it would be heart rending to have that happen in your life. The thing to remember here is this: It is not the end of the world. It may seem like it, but good can come from it if we will allow God to use it in our lives. Romans 8:28 is true where we are told, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” This is not an automatic promise, but it is a true promise for those who love God and seek His will to be brought about in their lives.
The apostle Paul had some kind of physical ailment, and many of us have attempted to suggest what it might have been. We do know that he had a problem with his eyesight, but it could have been any number of things in an age without having access to the medical treatment that we have today. Paul says, “…I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.” Now when Paul says he pleaded three times it would not have been a causal short one sentence prayer. It perhaps would have involved fasting and prayer for many days. However, the answer was still no; even for the apostle Paul.
We can see the evidence of the truth of Romans 8:28 in the apostle Paul’s life. Paul tells us there in 2 Corinthians, “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Through God giving Paul daily strength to endure his affliction, his inner strength grew as the Lord was able to work more powerfully through the apostle. Whenever God or even some person says “No” in your life, remember God can do the same for you as he did for Paul.