God’s Refusals

God never withholds from His child that which His love and wisdom call good. God’s refusals are always merciful—“severe mercies” at times, but mercies all the same. God never denies us our heart’s desire except to give us something better.

—Elisabeth Elliot

Wow! This is a hard thing to accept. But if you are a parent, then you know that sometimes you too have had to refuse your child something he or she deeply longed for. You did not deny them out of meanness, but because you saw a danger they in their limited scope of experience could not imagine. God is infinitely wiser than we are, and He too sometimes has to say no. The biggest lesson I must learn is when to persist in making my request, and when to let it go.

Elisabeth Elliot’s writing has greatly influenced my life, even as a grown married woman. I truly wish someone had introduced me to her works when I was a teenager, but I am learning that it is never too late to incorporate the principles she teaches: namely, that passion is not sinful and purity is not prudish. Nor are they mutually exclusive. You can have both.

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