This is your reminder to pray on Monday for God to embolden men, soften women, and give the gift of marriage to those who desire it.
Clichés make the world go round. People, as a result of this wonderful experience called life, spout the wisdom of the ancients—amassed into pithy, over-simplified statements. The funny thing about clichés is that, they will never leave you (married or not), and they will sometimes hurt you if you leave them unchallenged in your heart.
Here are some of my favorites:
- When facing a difficult choice—just let go, and let God.
- When you haven’t gotten something you wanted—you just weren’t ready yet.
- When parents are dealing with an unwieldy child—it’s just a phase.
- When all your friends are couples, and there’s no one in sight—your time will come.
- When you break up with your first boyfriend in ages or can’t get a date to save your life—there are always more fish in the sea.
Sometimes, you’ve let go, you are ready, it’s not a phase, your time has passed, and good grief, there are still no fish in any sea, anywhere on God’s green earth.
Take me for example. As you might know if you’re a regular to FastPray, a bunch of my single girlfriends and I signed up for online dating. We were intentional. We were brave. We edited each other’s profile weirdness. I had my reservations, but I went out there in cyber-love-land, smiled at every man between 25 and 35, and got essentially nothing back. And, to be honest, that stung… a lot. My carefully crafted profile with my most photogenic self couldn’t get a single date, much less a fish.
Once you’re down in the dumps about your dating life, you can be sure a “helpful” friend will be close at hand with a few quips about how to solve your problem. Or in my case, I don’t need other people to get bad advice. I have a modern, Greek-tragedy style chorus. They pop into my head at times like these, ringing:
Don’t worry! There’s always more fish in the sea.
At the risk of speaking in italics for too long or taking a bowling ball to the pin-headed ensemble in my head—sometimes, there are NO fish in the sea!
Around the time I was resigning myself to a bag of Halloween candy and sweatpants, I came across this passage from Luke 5.
4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.
Or, as the Holy Spirit applied the verses to me:
Jesus: Anna, I know you want to be married. Keep walking with me on this journey. Keep looking for a godly life partner.
Me: Master, I toiled through online dating for weeks recently and for months in the past, and it was a waste of money, time, and it frustrated me to not even get a date. I’m too dispirited to try again.
The question the Holy Spirit left me with was:
Will you let down your nets again?
In that moment, I felt Peter’s tired, dirty sweat for the first time. Jesus was asking Peter to do something absolutely ridiculous. Peter had tried before. He’d been ready all night for the catch. He’d waited for his time to come. And, Jesus asked him to go back out on the water again. And, Peter went.
I’m not saying I’m going to jump right back online tomorrow, but instead of putting my emotional deflector shields back up, I’m going to just keep praying and fishing—trusting that God is good.
Blessings on you as you pray in faith this week.