On Mondays at lunch, we fast and pray for men to become godly leaders, for women to be softened with godliness and for godly marriages to be created and sustained.
They declared it the “Year of the Man.” To make sure that I fully understood and remembered the goal for the year, I was given a toy soldier. This wasn’t your average green army man from Andy’s toy box in Toy Story, no this soldier came with batteries and the ability to crawl with a gun in hand. I mean, if you are going to have a toy representation of “the man” it might as well feature knee-crawling physical prowess (would make any girl go weak in her knees). My colleagues at the time decided that turning 28 marked an age when I should definitely be getting closer to marriage.
For much of my twenties, I just figured marriage would happen at some point (much like Amy expressed in last week’s post). I kept mascara handy in case the eyes needed to get to work batting, but I wasn’t really concerned about the “when” because I figured it would come in due time. As I approached thirty and beyond I noticed my thoughts shifting from “when” to “if.” I no longer assumed that marriage was a given on the path of life, it was something that may or may not happen and I had to prepare myself for either scenario.
The “Year of the Man” was a foiled scheme that didn’t even result in a date that year. The toy soldier made its way under the bed (all it could do was crawl, so it seemed like an appropriate place for him to roam) and I took up knitting (not really but seemed like it was a fitting outcome). Making declarations like that is just dumb, especially when they don’t work.
As time ticks closer to forty, I find myself moving away from “if” and closer to “probably not.” Statistically speaking I have a greater probability of being hit by a bus than getting married over the age of forty (Sleepless in Seattle), so why hold on to hope for something that may never happen? Besides life is really ok as is, do I really want to start having discussions about which way to place the toilet paper on the roll (pretty much sums up marriage, right?). After all, I broke the leg off of soldier man while making my bed (he must have been in the middle of a tactical move when I walked by and crushed his leg). If I can’t even be trusted to keep the toy representation of a man in tact, how can I be responsible for the heart of a real man?
The Bible is full of miracles, so I know that God can do and will do anything He determines. Just like Amy said last week “If marriage is in my future, it is only because He is crafting and planning it.” But what I need to remember and continually challenge myself as I waffle between “if” and “probably not” is to be emotionally and spiritually available for whatever God has in store for me. It would be too easy to button up the heart and discard hope to avoid the pain of disappointment and unmet expectations, but that is not a recipe for a full life.
Ephesians 3:14 – 21
When I think of the wisdom and scope of God’s plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen.
With all the fullness of life,