The Gift of No

As many of you now, we are in the process of moving which means we’ve spent a great deal of time looking at houses. As our moving date approaches, my anxiety rises. What if we don’t find a place in time? Will we have to stay in a hotel, spending $100-$150 a night? When deadlines loom, it’s easy to focus on the problem instead of on God, but when we do, we risk tuning out the protective still small voice of our Heavenly Father.

Two weeks ago, we found a lovely house in a great neighborhood. It was large, backed up to trees, and was walking distance from the local high school. It was at the top of our budget but after some number crunching, appeared manageable. We made an offer, they accepted, and we scheduled a home inspection.

The inspection didn’t go well, and as we negotiated back and forth with the sellers, my husband and I became increasingly uncomfortable. But our logical, number crunching, analytical minds viewed things differently. Yes, there were a few issues–like some wood rot and a faulty roof–but if they repaired the roof, we had the money to fix the rest. And we really didn’t have time to start over.

God knew differently and saw what we couldn’t—the future.

After more prayer, we rescinded our offer and called our realtor to schedule more house hunting.

I was pretty discouraged. My schedule’s crazy on a good day. Add weekend house hunting trips and all that comes with it (like not sleeping due to a noisy hotel air conditioning unit) and perhaps you could understand my sense of urgency. (Not to mention the money spent on hotel and restaurant fees each time we look for homes.) I wondered if we’d ever find a home!

We did! Last weekend, we found another house,  made an offer, and it was accepted.

Two days later, we received a few emails necessitating expensive trips this summer. Trips that will eat into our savings–that savings we’d planned to use to repair house number one.

God knew.

Imagine the bind we could have been in if we’d muscled our way forward.

At the time, it was tempting to ignore that still, small voice redirecting us. How easy it would have been to justify buying that house! We were on a time crunch, we had money in savings for repairs, it was a great neighborhood full of kids and close to school. ALL of us liked the house, and we’d already looked at so many! Surely we were being too picky.

And yet, instead of forcing our way and justifying our actions, we chose to obey. We chose to trust that God knew best, and that He only acted in love.

When we hit a closed door, we can either push our way in, closing our ears to God’s warnings, or we can surrender to the loving, faithful, protective will of our Heavenly Father.

Really, it comes down to trust, in believing God is truly for us, not against us. In believing He truly does know what’s best.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 says 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 

Maybe there’s something you’re holding on to–a new job, a new home, a ministry or opportunity. Have you paused to seek God’s will? And are you ready to obey, no matter what He tells you? How might knowing He’ll only do what’s in your best interest help?

Stop and think of your own children. How many times have you had to tell them no to something–something they assumed to be a blessing but that you knew could lead to danger?

Let’s talk about this!

Join us at Living by Grace as we talk about full surrender  and trusting in God’s unchanging nature when the road ahead gets blurred or blocked.


    1. Dicky, I’m so glad you listened and obeyed! We’re blessed to have you, and I know listeners across the globe will be greatly impacted by the dramas you are writing!

  1. Sometimes I have a hard time discerning whether He is saying yes or no! That’s when I turn to Scripture and he affirms that yes, He was saying “no”, and but my own voice was arguing too loud. 🙂

    1. Great point, Catrina! May we always remember to seek our answers in God’s holy Word for He will never contradict His Word, and He does normally confirm His will. So glad! I never have to worry, “Uh … Did I miss something, Lord?” Nope, when He wants me to hear something, He makes sure I know.

  2. No really IS a blessing – and so often we do NOT take advantage of it. LOVE this story – AND that you found a house 🙂

  3. Great post, Jennifer. Any time I’ve ignored my God-given inner voice, I’ve regretted it. I’m so glad you found the right house. It’s difficult to persevere at times, but God always comes through at just the right moment!

  4. Jennifer,
    Excellent post and so appropriate for me. I tend to forge ahead, thinking I’ve heard from God, when really, i’ve heard from myself!


  5. Great post, Jen! Hurray that the Lord led you to the house He had for you!! Looking forward to hearing how the Lord uses you in this new chapter of your life. God’s richest blessings to you, my friend!

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