With beautiful prose, author Vanessa Riley shares words of encouragement with us today. Be blessed.
God Said No
I sit at my low window and draw the curtains open. Every handkerchief is tear-stained, and I seek a breeze to dry my face.
But the air is calm and still.
Alas, God has said no again.
The day is bright. The branches of the mighty oak framing my view revels in the shine and casts shadows upon my wrung hands. I should be outside with my oils and canvas, capturing the lilies on the pond, the thick greenery of the lawn. Yet, my artist’s soul is dour. My paints would be onyx or charcoal. I possess no light today.
With a dry spot on my wrist, I scrub my wet cheek. On my lap weighs the heavy letters of Your promises. I’ve no strength to open my Bible, or dump it from my skirts. I’m frozen in regret. What if I said…. What if….
Can any of Your words soothe my restlessness? I know You have plans for me, but what of mine?
Did You not know how much I craved the affection? It wasn’t a trifle to me.
Did You not care how I set my heart upon this dream?
Why let my mind to think, my soul to wish, if I am to be crushed when nothing comes to fruition?
Out on the lawn, a furry squirrel chases a rolling stone, no an acorn. As he seizes on the nut, it squeezes out of his paws and scatters to the pond’s edge. Undaunted, the animal makes a dash only to witness his prize tumble away. The acorn doesn’t float. It sinks, rippling the stagnant waters.
I am one with the varmint.
I turn away from the window. With a deep breath, I declare myself to be reasonable. I should chase a different nut and accept my lot, for You know what’s best.
But I am not so easily consoled. I wish to join the squirrel and reclaim the vision gone away, even in the murky depths.
My mind resounds with bitter memories, those times I forced my desires. Yet, in the wake of those disappointments, I still want my way now. I’ll admit to a poor track, missteps, but Abba, isn’t today different?
Oh, let me be Gideon. My fleece, my face, is still sodden with misery. Therefore, allow me to question Your hand.
Did my pleading for this cause, fall away like Abraham’s for Sodom? Was my dream truly so bad?
Can you not hear Habakkuk’s anguish in my voice? Have You forsaken me?
Is it so, Abba? Is it so?
The glazed glass rattles. A soft rush of air billows the gauzy muslin dressing the casement. Constant and steady this wind, this balm of Gilead, covers me. Hints of fragrant lilies and peppery heather fill my lungs, clearing my sniffles. I feel an embrace in my spirit. Thank You for not leaving me. I welcome this no.
A few feet away, my friend, the squirrel, has scampered up the oak and dances on a thick limb. His cheeks are pregnant, bulging twice the size of before. He's gathered other acorns. My brethren’s sorrow seems short-lived.
Chuckles gather in my throat. A glimmer of my joy has returned. Could it be Sarah’s laugh at impossibility? Yet, it is true. Abba, will You spin all my ashes to gold? I close my eyes and let the breeze stroke my countenance, tickle the beading of my collar.
Abba, my Father, my Provider, renew my heart to Your plans, Your ways. Amen.
I hope this helps when God says, “No.” Never doubt His plans for your life.
Jeremiah 29:11(KJV) For I know the thoughts (plans) that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Alas, God has said no again. Click to tweet.
I know You have plans for me, but what of mine? Click to tweet.
Abba, my Father, my Provider, renew my heart to Your plans, Your ways. Amen. Click to tweet.
If all young men leapt off a cliff, Madeline St. James wouldn’t care. Yet a chance meeting and a bullet wound change everything. She must trust that the Good Shepherd has led her to marry a dashing stranger, Lord Devonshire. Can they forge a true bond before the next disaster strikes?
See the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2OnXfFNwps
Even as she pursued engineering degrees, Vanessa Riley's love of 19th century history yielded a hunger to take as many Western Civilization credits as possible (two classes shy of a minor). Vanessa adores Regency times with its conflicts between Church and State, the clash of the classes, and the sweeping romances. Her mission is to have the world fall in love with powerful Regency heroes and heroines who battle for peace with a flintlock and a prayer. Vanessa writes from the comfort of her southern porch with a cup of Earl Grey or Cinnamon Spice.
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