When The Answer is No, Part 1 - Girlfriends in God - October 30, 2019

October 30, 2019
When The Answer is No, Part 1
Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth

One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: “Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love.” (Psalm 62:11-12).

Friend to Friend

In the summer of 2002, Shira and Joey Arnold were delighted to learn that they were expecting their first child. They excitedly shared the news with family and friends as they began to plan for their new family. Weeks later, however, Shira and Joey got dream-shattering news. Routine tests at the doctor’s office revealed that their baby was not developing correctly. The couple was advised by medical professionals to consider termination of the pregnancy.

They adamantly refused.

Though Shira and Joey grieved deeply when they heard the news, they determined to trust in God and prayed for a miracle. Little Cayden was born blind, deaf, lame, and with only half a brain. The doctors had expected him to live only minutes, but Cayden defied all odds by living just shy of five years.

Five broken years.

Five beautiful years.

Five years filled with one struggle after another.

Five years filled with one miracle after another.

Five glorious years.   

During his short life on earth, through the wonders of modern medicine, technology, and prayers, Cayden learned to see, hear, speak, and walk.

Those five medically complicated years were a constant challenge for the Arnolds, but God brought them through every difficult moment in His strength and allowed them to experience His joy, peace, and hope in spite of their challenges.

He strengthened them with His all-sufficient grace.

Cayden’s life was a beautifully broken display of God’s glory. And though God’s answer to their prayers for the healing of his tiny body here on earth was “no,” He provided both Cayden and his parents grace that was sufficient for each moment. For each day. For each weakness.

The funeral was a bittersweet, joy-filled celebration of Cayden’s life.

Shira and Joey honored God as their grace-giving, strength-supplying Strong Tower.

The Arnolds spoke of their trust-journey.

They testified that they had had to choose to trust God and readily admitted that it required constant choosing. They boasted in the Lord as David did in the Psalms when he delighted in God’s all-surpassing strength: From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings (Psalm 61:2-4).

One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: “Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love.” (Psalm 62:11-12).

Our lives are purposed to bring glory to Godin and through everything. There are times – hard times – when the answers from Him are “no.” When those times come, we can choose to trust that He said no for a reason.      

God is all-knowing. All-powerful.

We are not.

This isn’t simple, but it is true.

When we surrender to His sovereignty, God strengthens His children with all-sufficient grace, and His power is made perfect in our weaknesses.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Help me to trust You in the challenges and the “nos” that I face today and every day. Shine your glory through the broken places of my life.

In Jesus’ Name,


Now It’s Your Turn

Are you facing anything now that could be an opportunity for God’s grace to be all-sufficient in and through you?

Have you chosen to trust Him, despite His answer of “no”?

Need PRAYER? Click here to leave a prayer request on my blog in the comments section. Then pause to pray for some of the other prayer needs on my wall.

More from the Girlfriends

You never have to do life, battle or faith alone. Hang out with Gwen and friends and be strengthened for the fight! Listen to the GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast as you commute to work, go on walks, exercise, run errands, eat guacamole or travel. Podcasts are also perfect to listen to as you do household chores! (Laundry anyone?)

Each GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast episode is filled with fun, faith-focused, grace-filled conversations that will help you know and trust God more.

These discussions encourage you in meaningful ways to live out and lean on the GRACE of Jesus in the midst of cluttered, messy days. CLICK HERE to listen on iTunes, or visit GwenSmith.net/Graceologie for more information.

Seeking God?

Originally published Wednesday, 30 October 2019.