Have you discovered this invention of Tracking Numbers and Tracking Notifications? You can know with a few clicks where your package is every day on its route, and even be notified as it passes checkpoints and finally arrives on your doorstep. Astonishing. It wasn't long ago when we'd order a package and check the mail every day after the "7-10 days" had passed (and there was the hope of a delivery truck making unbelievably good time at the 7-day mark...or earlier!). Now? Not sure about you, but I check tracking pretty often, especially on the day my box is scheduled to arrive.
I see parallels between our modern tracking convenience and our life hopes & dreams as believers. Our great God is absolutely perfect and has an absolutely perfect plan which is absolutely perfectly worked out in heaven and on earth, in each of the lives of every person. This plan is beautiful for those who have been saved for we do nothing to complete it. God gets the glory in everything. Humans have been on earth for only a few thousand years, God is eternal. We do so like to have our favorite things now. Seeing what we can't have but know (or hope is coming) is hard to live with. And if there's one thing God is teaching me in all His ways, it's that I can echo the words of all the saints who have gone before as well as those who are walking with me now: "Gods timing is best, I must wait, whether I can see the end of the waiting or not."
Often, for singles, waiting is attached to marriage. Singleness is seen as a mere step before "real, wonderful life" begins. Something to fill with (or cram) with things to do while I'm waiting. Waiting for what? All we have is this moment, this breath, maybe even this whole day. Marriage is a gift, not a guarantee. So are children, jobs, opportunities. So is life. Breath. Mercy. Singleness is a gift. Salvation is a gift. To be known and loved by Jesus, and to spend more time knowing and loving Him rather than looking around every corner for an answered dream is what life is to be about. Looking into His face with His Word and prayer is how He tells us to live as we go about our daily life.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:3-12
For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:8-11
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. If we live by the Spirit, let us also [keep in step with] the Spirit. Galatians 5
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21
Right now, marriage is something I'm waiting for. And yet not waiting for. It isn't always easy to let that hope stay in the hands of God and let Him put it in a place where I can't track it. But if trusting were always easy, how would we learn to trust? If I could track that package, or any other request I bring to Him, why would I trust Him?
Yeah, yeah, I've heard that before. But I want to be married! You don't know how much!
I've heard it all before, too! The good thing in hearing truth repeated throughout our lives is that we don't outgrow our need for it. Scripture spans thousands of years, and every age needed the same truth as the last one. I also hear biological clocks ticking, but have experienced (and continue to experience) much rest & relief when I obey His prompt to give my desires back to Him. Holding on to them diminishes my trust, and brings anxious thoughts instead of peace.
I want to be married, too! But I haven't met anyone!
Remember, no tracking allowed ;) The God who called everything into existence and keeps it there by the word of His power has everything planned out. If you are to marry, you will. It will be obvious the Lord is leading you and the other person to each other. You won't miss him or her. If you aren't to be married, you won't. And all this applies to every area of life as well, we have no need for any kind of fear. So, while we are not called to be lackadaisical, we are definitely called to turn worry and fretting into joy and thanksgiving, and to be diligent, leaving all the unknowns to our faithful Creator. He's fashioning each of his children into a vessel for His glory, sometimes marriage is part of that work and sometimes it is not. He knows best.
How is it so easy for you to say you've surrendered and that singleness is a gift?
That's the thing about writing on a blog: it's easy to lay out what God's Word says is true. To pontificate. To bloviate. What's not easy is writing what I know to be true and having to live face to face with it every day and every time I think "okay, I got it!" Jesus gives me yet another lesson that takes me deeper and I realize I haven't got it all yet. I'm still human, still susceptible to longing for dreams to come true, still excited for my friends to have relationships and be a part of their weddings, and then feel lonely during a work week later on. And my current job? I'm a wedding photographer!! Double whammy :D
What do I say when people tell me "you're so beautiful/handsome and talented! Where are the guys/gals?" I'm working hard to be content right where God has me, and I don't even know if I want to be married!
It's a bit awkward for sure...since God is in charge of our lives, we honestly don't know where future spouses are in relation to us (other than they are exactly where God wants them at the moment), or even if marriage is our lot! But we can turn the conversation around and offer to tell them what ways the Lord has opened for us to minister or grow in, and ask them the about their current spiritual journey! The people around us intend to be kind and encouraging, and we should take it as such. We can have a plan to talk about Jesus and His work in our lives. You and I can be the change that inspires deeper conversations, let's do it, shall we?
The ways in which He fulfills our desires and answers our pleas are known to His mind alone, and just may surprise us. Being on the lookout for the display of His power and provision is something we should do, that we may praise Him continually throughout the process, only let us surrender our expectations for how it is all going to work out!
What has helped you in waiting?
If you have more questions, I don't have all the answers, but I'd love to connect and talk with you!