“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” -Psalm 139:16
This is a blog post that I’ve been wanting to write for about a week now. It seems like everywhere you look, people are getting engaged or married, and on top of all of that, it seems like there is an unspoken expectation in the Christian community about getting married by a certain age. Now, before I begin, I want to say that this is no way, shape, or form a dis on anyone who is dating, engaged, or married, or anyone who has just become one of these things—and you’ll see why in a little bit that we’re able to celebrate these precious things in life with you, even when the single ones are left, well, single.
Also, please note that this blog post is written with the intention of the reader one day getting married, that day just happens to not be today. I’m not going to talk about or from the point of the exception of those who have the gift of singleness. I may or may not talk about that some other time. So, let’s begin!
I was at a store a couple weeks ago and I ran into an older-ish man I used to go to church with years back, and shortly into our conversation, this was how it went:
Him: Are you married, yet?
Him: How old are you?
Him: Oh, you’ve got a couple years yet.
No kidding, this is what happened. But it’s really not that uncommon. I don’t think a lot of us talk about it, but it seems that if Christians aren’t married—or at least found “the one”—by age 22, then we’re going to be single for the rest of our lives.
So to all of those single Christians out there approaching college graduation, let me assure you, it’s okay. Really, it’s okay if you haven’t found your person yet. And to all those single Christians who are approaching 30 and all of your friends are already married, it’s okay. And if you’re in your thirties and there still hasn’t been anyone for you yet, it’s okay.
To be perfectly honest, I’m 21, and I’ve never had a boyfriend. Ever. And it’s okay.
So, I wanted to take a moment to present to you why I’m not freaking out that I haven’t found “the one” yet, and give you some encouragement as to why you shouldn’t be, either.
Next week, I want to talk about what to do while we’re waiting for a future spouse. I think it’ll be really practical and encouraging. So make sure to stay tuned for that!
One last thing before I go—I’ve really been loving Psalm 139:16 lately. It tells us this:
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.”
Every day of your life is already written, guys. God knows. He knows it all. And He loves you more than you could ever imagine. Lean into this truth today, and let His love saturate you as you trust and wait in Him.
We’ll talk soon,
Jeremiah 29:11- “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” -Philippians 4:4
There’s something that seems to be missing among Christians these days. It seems as though all of our joy is gone. It seems like song after song, sermon after sermon, day after day, we’re all talking about trials, tribulations, and just getting through the going through. Now, yes, I’m glad there are songs and sermons that address these things. I think they’re much needed. However, sometimes I feel as if that’s all I hear.
As Christians, I think we’re supposed to be the most joyous people on the planet! Yes, I understand that life happens. We experience pain, loss, and grief, but I also know that even in these things, we have Jesus. When we have Jesus, we have a supernatural hope that allows us to be joyful even in the midst of the hardest times. If we can’t think of a single thing to be joyful about, then the very fact that Jesus has been raised to life, and we’ve been rescued from death to life and we have an eternity up ahead full of spending time with the God of the universe, then that should be enough to cause a well of joy within us. This joy may look differently depending on our season of life. Of course, we’re not expected to laugh when we’ve lost a loved one, or shout from the rooftops when we’re facing the loss of everything we own. But in everything, there’s a joy that can be expressed in all seasons. Whether that joy looks like a calm peace and confidence in God that’s deep within us that allows us to remain unshakeable despite the hardship, or the freedom to laugh and live life to the fullest where God has called us because we know we’re free and safe in Christ.
The world is looking at Christians, and one thing the world needs is true joy. Jesus is the only source of true joy, and those without Jesus should see this source of joy within us. So how do we well up this joy within us when it doesn’t come naturally?
Remember, Jesus has literally set you free from everything. Death, sin, guilt, and all of the chains that once bound you no longer hold you. You’re set free. Jesus came and died so that you could have full, true, and abundant life in Him (John 10:10), and that includes joy.
So let’s take a moment to check our “joy meter”. If you haven’t been joyful lately, how come? Is there something restraining you from this joy? Take this to the Lord and see what needs to be laid at His feet so that you can walk forward in His fullness of joy. Joy is His will for you and is a powerful testimony that shines bright in the darkness. The world needs what we have, and joy can bring them straight to it. And joy wouldn’t cause any harm to us, either. So let’s get our joy on!
Until next time,
Hebrews 12:2, “For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Proverbs 17:22, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
James 1:2-4, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
“‘We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!'” – Numbers 11:5-6
In the last blog post, I shared about the time period of when God calls us out of a season that’s not His will—or is no longer His will—but where we haven’t reached all that we know God has for us. I called this period of time waiting between the no and the not yet.
In this posting, I want to talk about how not to act during this time of waiting. While I mentioned in the last post that I did commend the Israelites for their act of waiting in the desert between Egypt and the Promised Land (see Numbers 9:19-23), that’s one of the only good things to say about the Israelite community at large during this time period of their history. Just a few chapters later, we see that while they were in the desert, they started to complain against where God had brought them this far and what had He provided for them.
God had graciously provided them with manna—enough good food for what they needed during this time. However, we see starting in Numbers 11:4 that the Israelites start complaining about this provision from God. They “began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat!'” (vs. 4). And then it got worse. After everything the Lord had brought them through, and all the battles He had won for them, and all His acts of power and strength to bring them to where they were at now, they started remembering their life back in Egypt as slaves, and as we see in upcoming chapters, they actually wanted to turn around and go back to Egypt—the very place God rescued them out of!
Furthermore, over the next couple of chapters, their attitudes get even worse. They went from complain about the wilderness to complaining against their God-ordained leader, to outright doubting the promise that God would bring them into the land that He had delivered them for and promised to them.
Friends, this is a good example of how not to act in your season of waiting.
If you find yourself in the season of between no and not yet, take some pointers from the Israelites.
#1: Don’t complain about where you are or what you have. We are often so tempted to complain about where we are because we’re not where we want to be yet. Complaining will not get you anywhere faster. If anything, it will keep you in the season of waiting for longer. Due to the Israelites disobedience, just about all of the adults died in their season of waiting and never entered the Promised Land. For the very few who were allowed to enter, they had to wait 40 years until the rest of them died until they could enter into God’s good and perfect plan for their lives. God hates complaining. He is sovereign and knows all you need, and He sees you right where you are. Don’t complain.
#2. Don’t long for Egypt. Don’t look back at the place where God has called you from because you’re not at the place where He has you going. He has called you out from that season for a reason. Don’t look back and regret or long for that place. Trust that His plan of bringing you into His good purposes will be brought to completion if we wait in His perfect timing.
#3. Don’t doubt what God has promised you. God had told Moses to send out twelve spies to check out the land that He had promised them (Numbers 13:1-3). When the spies went into the land, 10 of them came back with a bad report: “They spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, ‘The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size…We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them” (Numbers 13:32, 33). But yet, the same God who sent plagues on Egypt to let the Israelites out of Egypt, who parted the Red Sea, who provided them a way to have fellowship and meeting with Him through sacrifices and the Tabernacle, and the one who promised them this land, this same God was more than able to bring them into the land they had promised, yet they doubted that. But do you ever feel like this? As though God is unable to bring you into all He has for you? Be encouraged by this: God does what He says, and if you’ll listen and obey Him, He’ll bring you to all He has for you. Whenever you’re tempted to doubt, remember who God is, what He has done, and look to the Scriptures for His promises to speak over your life and situation.
These are just a few lessons we can learn about how to wait from the Israelites in their season of transition. Remember, seasons of waiting aren’t seasons of doing nothing. Actively seek God, listen to Him, and follow His instructions. Praise Him, thank Him, and trust Him. And His plan for your life will come to completion. He is faithful, guys.
We’ll talk soon 🙂
“Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out.” -Numbers 9:22
In the twenty-one years that I’ve been around, there is one thing that I’ve learned: Waiting is hard. But another thing that I’ve learned is that waiting is incredibly important.
I think one thing that is so hard about waiting is the fact that we’re often waiting without control over a circumstance, or we’re waiting with control over a circumstance. Each situation can be equally hard, but God is equally in them both.
I’ve recently found myself in a season of waiting. Waiting for God to move and give further instruction. And I think a lot of us miss this season of waiting because we’re simply unwilling to wait, or we don’t think that God would make us wait. But I have come to learn that God is a God with a perfect timetable, and we need to be sure to stay on it.
We see in Scripture that the Israelites, God’s chosen people, endured a season of what I like to call: Waiting: Between the No, and the Not Yet.
And this is exactly the season I have been finding myself in lately.
A season where God has called you out of what is not His will—or no longer His will—but He hasn’t brought you into all He has for you yet. We experience this all the time.
One relationship has ended, but you have yet to start a new and right one.
Our job comes to an end, but we have yet to step into our dream jobs, and we’re seemingly stuck with the job we have now.
We’ve moved from one location, but we’re not where we’ve dreamed of being. So we stay where we are instead of where we want to be.
This is what was happening with the Israelites: God has called them out of their horrible season of slavery and bondage in Egypt, and they were making their way to the land that God had promised them, often referred to as the Promised Land. Yet, they found themselves in the Desert, which was in-between point A and point B, for a long time until they reached their destination. And while the Israelites stayed in the desert way longer than what it would normally take to get to their destination because of their own disobedience, there is one thing I took note of that I found commendable in their behavior. And it was their act of waiting.
We see in Numbers chapter 9 that God has a way of moving the Israelites. There was a cloud that would cover the Tabernacle, where God would meet with His people, and when it was time to set out to a new destination on their way to the Promised Land, the cloud would lift. When they were to encamp at a destination, the cloud would settle. Numbers 9:18 tells us, “At the LORD’s command the Israelites set out, and at His command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp.” And I love the next verse. Verse 19 tells us, “When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the LORD’s order and did not set out.” Even when it was a long time, the Israelites didn’t jump ahead and move before God told them to.
We often think that God wants us continually moving about and being busy doing His work, and while there are times and seasons where He has us doing these things, we often forget there may be times where God calls us to just stay put, stay still, and stay faithful. And yet, we often mistake times of waiting as times of wasting time. But this is not what the time of waiting is designed for.
If you find yourself in the season of “Between no but not yet”, be encouraged that God is preparing you now for the not yet. God sees everything, and His timing is completely perfect. Even if we don’t understand why we’re in a season of waiting, and even if nothing makes sense, don’t underestimate what God is doing. Use this season of waiting to press into all He is trying to say to you, and learn to listen to His leading and promptings that will take you through this season into all He has for you, and every day from here on out. He’s up to something better than you can imagine, and He’ll bring you into all of it if you just stay obedient and faithful, even—and especially—in the times of waiting.
In part two, I’ll talk about how to wait (and how not to). We’ll talk soon 🙂