Monday reminder: we’re praying and fasting for God to change us, change men, and provide marriages for those who desire it.
My pastor closed a recent sermon in his series on faith with the following snippet:
A lumberjack is clearing a forest and notices a bird building her nest in the top of the tree he is about to cut down. So he takes his ax and hits the tree trunk until the bird is flustered, flies off and starts building her nest in another tree. Knowing the entire forest will be cleared, he follows the bird and does the same thing again. He pushes the bird out of tree after tree, until the she flies from the forest and builds her nest in the rocks.
Our pastor closed the story by noting, “What looks like cruelty to the bird is actually mercy on the lumberjack’s part, because he won’t let the bird settle where he knows it is dangerous.” Wowza.
When I know He’s pushing me out of the places I want to build my nest, my usual response is not gratitude for His mercy. Quite the opposite, in fact. This makes no sense, Lord. Do I really need to move apartments again? Does my boss actually need to be this miserable? Why can’t this guy work out? I know my gut is telling me this isn’t quite right, but at least he’s a Christian and taller than me (a rare find in my dating life, btw). Isn’t that enough? Can’t we just skip to the part where I’m happily married? I’m kinda over this singleness thing. In fact, I’m beyond over it. Just don’t make me single forever, pllllllllllllllease. And if you’re going to, can you at least quash these painful longings in my heart? K. Thanks.
Maybe you can identify, or maybe you think I’m officially crazy (probably true). Regardless, tucked inside such “logic,” are a number of false assumptions, such as:
- Longings are useless if not fulfilled how/when I think they should be.
- The point of this journey is to get married to a tall, Christian guy, at which point all my desires will obviously be met all the time. (Every married woman reading this is now laughing and/or crying at such nonsense.)
- If it doesn’t make sense to me, I must be on the wrong track.
- This is about me.
I know, embarrassingly obviously not-true stuff. Fortunately, this week I got owned by Romans 5:3-5:
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
I had to be forcefully reminded that singleness per se is not the main issue here. Maybe the bigger issue is learning to trust a sovereign, faithful God, no matter what. To take Him at His word and live on faith, not sight. Maybe He’s developing our spiritual muscles and right now that might mean learning to wait, learning to trust, learning to pray, not building nests here. Yes, developing spiritual muscle might also eventually occur in the context of a marriage, and I hope it does, but right now – I’ve got more than enough to learn!
Praying with and for you gals,