Yes, No, Wait

Nancy Hatcher, Volunteer Writer, South Barrington  | February 20, 2024

I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 4:18–19

My husband and I sat in a stunning loft garage, meeting with a financial planner after a friend from church suggested it. We were hoping for some advice about how we could save enough money so that I could stay home from teaching for one year if we happened to have a baby. This financial guru looked at our salaries, what we paid in rent, our college loans, our tithe, and the sacrificial gift we had just given to support our church, which was getting too big for a movie theater.

This kind man leaned over his enormous desk, and we eagerly anticipated his advice, 

“I’m sorry, I can’t in good conscience say that you have enough money to take time off from working to have a child.”

I thought about the Bible verse I had memorized from childhood, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). The verses in today’s scripture reinforce the idea that if we give to support God’s ministry—He will meet our needs.

But I also remember that somber ride home and my deep disappointment.

I believed back then and continue to believe now that God holds me in the “palm of his hand” (Isaiah 49:16.) He always answers my prayers and breaks down walls for me. But that night, His answer seemed to be “no,” we had sacrificed, but the door had firmly closed on our plan.

God did this; He asked us to wait, and eventually…

  • Willow moved from the theater to our new building.
  • We bought the small house we had rented on contract.
  • We welcomed our daughter to our planet, then promptly rented our house for one year as we lived in and rehabbed our friends’ home rent-free.
  • After a year, I returned to teaching, a job that satisfied my soul for my entire career. 

How do you respond when an answer to your prayer is delayed or God tells you no? Have you ever heard Him say I’ve forgiven you, and my grace is all you ever will need? God is still a good God even when He says no and even when He says wait. He loves us so much that he sent his only son to die on the cross for our greatest need —forgiveness and the incredible gift of eternal life. 

Next Steps

If you feel God saying “no” or “wait,” make a bullet list of how He has supplied your needs as a reminder of His provision. Consider memorizing Philippians 4:19 if you haven’t already. Continue to take your requests to God diligently. Listen to the words of this incredible song.