NOTE: We know Monday is a holiday, and so maybe there won’t be as many “fasters” out there this round But hopefully, you’ll still find an encouraging impetus to keep praying in what’s written below by Amy Martin, one of our new writers…. Have a great Memorial Day! –Connally
We are fasting and praying on Mondays for God to give the gift of marriage to those who desire it, work change in men, and work change in us. We’re praying for a fresh wave of God-honoring relationships that lead to God-honoring marriages.
One of my graduate school professors calls it “tough-minded optimism:” that skill of looking painful realities in the face without losing hope. In terms of being single, it was a skill that I couldn’t quite master. So my solution of choice was to simply stop hoping. I didn’t stop believing in God, or in His sovereign timing, or in His goodness. I simply thought it would be easier to keep my expectations low, and then I could be pleasantly surprised if He decided to bring good gifts, including maybe, you know, a husband, into my life.
It seemed so much more rational. So much more intelligent, and measured, and emotionally manageable. This way, I wasn’t surprised to find myself at another wedding or another baby shower or another disappointing date. This was, after all, my life. I had come to terms with it and was “fine.” Really. Well, mostly.
Thank goodness I was wrong!
Low expectations are more a sign of my heart condition than of God’s character. It says I think he only gives good gifts to others. It says I’m not really sure if He can come through on this one. It says that I already know how this is going to turn out, so I should just not get my hopes up. It says that I question His grace, His sovereignty, His will.
The thing is, we don’t serve a measured, manageable God. We serve a God who is described as both a tender, loving Father and a consuming fire. He pursues us and catches us, in the words of Rich Mullins, in “the reckless raging fury they call the love of God.” We serve an all-powerful God who is not bound by time, and whose plans are unchangeable and unimaginable: “No eye has seen or ear has heard what God has prepared for those who love Him.”
We serve an expectations-defying God. He parts seas, raises the dead, heals the sick, welcomes home the prodigal, and puts the lonely in families. He saves sinners and adopts them as His sons and daughters. He is the One “able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.” And so perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised when He obliterates my stoicism with the reality of His love.
Yes, I’m still single but I’m no longer afraid to believe that His love for me is awe-inducing and heart-transforming. Not afraid to trust that the God who made me also has my future under control. Not afraid to believe that His character is utterly dependable. Not afraid to ask boldly of a heavenly Father who knows all, directs all, and completes all.
So as we fast and pray on this Monday, yes, we should acknowledge the often-difficult road of singleness, but let’s not forget this great God we serve, and the solid basis He gives for hoping boldly.
Many Blessings in the Journey,