Singleness can really hurt sometimes. When you have the very real desire for marriage and family, and another year passes you by, and you are seemingly nowhere closer to that dream, it hurts.
What can be hard for me, personally, is when I see a possibility with someone great, but then God says, “No”. I am back at square one and begin to ask God, “When?”, “Why?”, “Who?”.
While reading a book this morning, called Rhythms of Rest, by Shelly Miller, I was reminded of How God brings us into a future far beyond our imagination if we wait and trust in Him.
In the book, the writer and her family feel called to move from the states to London. This has been a great desire of theirs and God confirms through many people , circumstances, and words that He is leading them there.
So, they quit their jobs, sell their personal possessions, put their house on the market, and take their son out of school. They are more than ready to go. And yet, nothing seems to happen. Jobs in London do not line up, their house stays on the market untouched. They must wait in this uncomfortable place where they have laid it all out on the line to trust in the Lord for their dreams.
After a time of waiting and trusting, Shelly says , “And then the better than we can imagine comes true.” Their house sold, her husband got a wonderful job in London, and on top of all of that, a newer, updated, amazingly placed house in London opens up for them. The house is in a neighborhood they assumed was too nice for them, near shops, and a beautiful park.
She writes, that if they hadn’t waited on the Lord, if they had arrived in London just a bit earlier, this house wouldn’t have been an option.
Maybe it is strange to compare this story to singleness, but I am going to connect the dots anyways.
I know many of us are ready. We are seeking Jesus, mature, serving, selfless. We are not holding back our spouse due to our own spiritual life. We have laid it all out for Jesus to give us our dream, but it hasn’t happened yet.
However, if we choose to do something outside of God’s will, speeding things up, we will miss His best. And when we think someone is great and could be a possibility, and God says no, it is probably because He wants something much better for us than we do and only He knows when it will be time.
I know I would be heartbroken if I realized I went outside of God’s plan, only to see that I missed out on something better than I could have imagined.
It might make very little sense. We may hurt deeply as we wait, but be encouraged to wait sisters and brothers, because if you do, I know God will blow you out of the water with His best for you in this area of your life.
I read Psalm 37:4 yesterday, “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart”, and I found myself frustrated.
When I read commentary on this verse, I always find people reminding me that I need to be delighting in the Lord, seeking His will, spending time with Him daily, and then the desires of my heart will be given to me. Those reminders frustrate me, not because they aren’t important, but because I do them. I do not say that out of arrogance, but out of humility, because I know I need Him every second of every day so I choose to seek after Him. Yet, there are desires of mine that have not been fulfilled, good healthy desires.
In particular, I have desired a Godly spouse, someone to partner with in Christ, someone to laugh with and run the race of life with. God has not brought that person into my life and recently, I have faced some heartaches and pangs over singleness. So, when I read that verse yesterday, I felt angry and asked God, what does that even mean? Because it clearly doesn’t mean, if I seek after You, You will give me the desires of my heart.
So, I sought out someone to speak into this verse in a new way for me and came across a post on livingbyfaithblog.com, written by Steve Fuller. His explanation and understanding of this verse, has given me a renewal of strength and joy in the Lord. I pray that in sharing this with you, it will do the same, no matter what season you are in. I will only share a few sentences that stuck out to me, but will post the link at the bottom of my blog, so you can read it yourself.
“When we delight in the LORD, the desires that we have in our hearts are desires for the Lord. If we delight in the Lord, He will satisfy our desires for Him, by giving us more joy in Him. God promises that if we delight ourselves in Him, His glory and beauty and love and majesty will so fill us that we will desire nothing else. Our hearts will be completely full. We will be perfectly content. He will have satisfied every desire of our hearts- in himself.”
God promises us so much: He will gives us strength, He will never leave us, He will help us, He will anoint us to proclaim the good news, He will go before us, He prospers us, gives us a future and hope, He will meet all our needs according to the riches of His glory, He will deliver us from our troubles, and more! Yet, He doesn’t promise us that He will give us everything we wish for or want. He doesn’t promise us that, because instead, He promises us Himself, that we will be fulfilled in Him. I know that is hard to swallow because there are some good things we truly want, we desire deeply, but if we continue to delight in Him, He will fill us up and satisfy every desire!
How could I ever fully fathom Your love?
It would take all my days and then some
To explore every corner
To feel every drop of Your
It is endless
Yet it is always complete
So why do I look for it elsewhere?
Why do I seek love in others?
In their hands
In their eyes
In their words
Let me get lost
In Your quiet whispers to me
In Your hand holding mine
In Your eyes looking at me
Hanging from the cross
And victoriously rising to give me life
Let me turn to You
Adventure with You
And never grow tired of learning
Of spendimy my life with You
Giving You my all
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[b]Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
This passage really spoke to me in a different way today. Maybe you are working hard, living life, serving, loving on others, but all with a place in your heart that asks for something in return, a reward of some kind. You’d like a promotion, a financial breakthrough, more friends, a spouse, or maybe just simple recognition. – That is Martha!
She is doing good, but deep in her heart she is motivated by a selfish desire to please, to make things perfect, to control, and then she seeks after a reward, a thanks from Jesus Himself.
Jesus’s response always stings me a little because I am so often a Martha and I think a lot of us feel bad for Martha because we identify with her. Someone had to do the cooking and cleaning, right? And we don’t admire Mary as much as we should because we are too busy feeling bad for Martha.
So, when we finally are like Mary, when we choose Jesus first, time with Him, a career path for Him, sacrifice for Him, the path less traveled for Him, we can stand out like a sore thumb. Everyone around us will seem like Marthas and we might start wondering if it isn’t Martha’s way that is right. After all, her way looks productive, responsible, maybe even admirable, because she is getting things done.
That is why today, as I try and am growing more into a Mary, I find such affirmation and confirmation in Jesus words, rather than the usual sting. “Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away form her.”
Maybe you are trying to be a Mary, but you look around you and feel like a weirdo in the midst of worldly pleasure and life. Please hear Jesus. Know that your choice to sit at His feet and listen, to walk closely with Him, to choose His will, not your own is what please Him and in return you receive eternal life, pleasures forevermore, and a relationship that is so intimate and wonderful you will never want to be a Martha again.