Wait a Minute!
Have you ever noticed that waiting on God often requires more than just “a” minute? Sometimes, waiting on God feels like an eternity! The ache. The confusion. The questions: “How old are you?” and “You’re still single? Why?”
I’ve had people answer the “why” question for me by telling me things like: “Oh, you need to stop looking, and then God will bring the guy along.” Or, “You are just too picky!” Or my absolute favorite: “God must want to really use you in ministry, so He’s keeping you single .”
Well, I’d like to reply to the self-appointed “marriage experts” that God’s not playing “hide and seek” with me by waiting on me to stop desiring a husband before He brings Mr. Right along. Also, I’d like to believe that God Sovereignly trumps any “pickiness” I may have since I seek Him and His will. And to inform me that “I’m too picky” makes it sound as if God has presented me with some long line of suitors (whom I cavalierly reject), leaving God perplexed and not knowing quite what to do with me.
No, rather, I’d like to believe that God can use me in ministry even when I’m married. I mean, can the Almighty God somehow be hindered by marital status? There are plenty of married women whom God is actively using for His glory, right?
Now, Paul mentions that it is better to be single than to be married because the single person has undivided interests (1 Cor 7: 7-8). He also says in another passage, “Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas?” ( 1 Cor 9:5 ). Paul was single, but Peter and the other apostles were married. God used them all.
So what gives?
Why do I have to wait longer than the rest of my friends?
In fact, why do I have to wait at all?
As I’ve been asking God this question, He clearly said to me, “Rockie, you are asking for the wrong thing. You want a man who will satisfy your soul, give you contentment, remove lustful thoughts, and give you peace. No man can do that for you; only I can give you peace, satisfaction, contentment, and purity. To expect that from a human being, a job, child, or the next big thing … would be nothing short of idolatry.”
My heart sank. I’ve often used work, relationships, things, and even ministry to give me peace, satisfaction, and contentment … and I’ve always wound up disappointed. So that night, I got on my knees and said, “Lord, help my heart be fully satisfied in You! Help me to be fully content and at peace knowing that You are the One who loves and accepts me fully. Please help my heart to be pure before You!”
I so wanted that, and I want that for you, too! God wants to meet our needs for satisfaction, peace, and contentment. God wants to give us a pure heart to love Him and to follow Him. So what do we do with our healthy desire for marriage? Or what do we do about the wait for the adoption phone call, the job offer, or our wayward child who has yet to come back to the Lord?
There is nothing wrong with desiring those things as long as we are not making those desires our idols. James reminds us:
You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures (James 4:2-3).
Not everyone who is in the waiting period has warped motives or has an idol, like me. Some of you are in the waiting period, genuinely hurting and hoping with pure hearts, while God is working out a greater purpose than you can presently see. Don’t give up. My pastor, John Meador, once said in a sermon, “Singleness is not a waiting period, it’s a period.” In other words, if God sees fit to keep us in that season for an extended, elongated, agonizing period, let’s make the most of our minutes.
Ask yourself, “Do I really …?”:
- Trust that God really does know best and His ways are beyond our understanding (Is 55:9).
- Affirm that God is not withholding anything from you to punish you ( Ps 84:11 / Ro 8:32).
- Realize that God is able to do the impossible in your life (Jer. 32:27).
- Remember that many great leaders of the faith had to wait, too (Hebrews 11).
My Sisters, may the Lord grant you contentment in the wait (Phil 4:11-13). May He renew your strength (Is 40:30-31) and give you a full life (John 10:10). And may you know deep down that His plan for you will outweigh the pain of the wait (Jer. 29:11).
By Rockie Naser with Shabby Chic Ministries
For more on the pain of waiting when passions fighting, check out the Single Girl section inside the Shulammite chapter of Wielding Femininity to the Glory of God study with music CD or download the digital study from iTunes, Nook, or Kindle, or Sony.