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By Dan Amos

Over the Christmas break I saw something I hadn’t seen in a while. All of my boys were home from college, and when you live in a house with four men you adopt certain coping behaviors. One of my wife’s is to put sticky notes with the word “NO” on them on certain food items she doesn’t wish to disappear.

I don’t remember exactly what it was I saw. The kitchen was bustling with foraging children and Fran trying to put something together. She pulled something out of the refrigerator, and there was the familiar note, “NO.” It’s a declaration that has frustrated many a snack or individual meal. It might have been on bacon, cheese, pound cake, or egg nog, but it hit me right then that “no” was not mean and it wasn’t selfish; it was profoundly beautiful.

How many times have we prayed and thought God would answer “yes” or “no” or “not yet.” It occurred to me that God often responds, “I have something better in store.” That bacon and cheese might have made a tasty lunch for someone, but when used as Fran used it, it became family favorites of fettuccine Alfredo and cheesy potatoes. The pound cake became trifle and the egg nog became bread pudding.

So the seemingly harsh “NO” was really, “I have a plan, and if you just wait for it you’ll see that it’s better than what you had in mind.” It’s a simple insight I got that day into God’s sovereign love for us, but it is life changing.

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