During my daily 40-minute commute to work, I have quite a bit of time in the car to think, pray, and even preach (to myself). The interstate I take branches into 5 different lanes and while I was driving along the other day, I had the most beautiful thought: all of these cars are traveling in the same direction and though we may be going to the same city, we all have different destinations within that city. There were cars all around me and regardless of speed we had one thing in common: we were all moving forward in the same direction. Our final destinations didn’t matter at that time because during that brief snapshot of our journeys we were all in the process of getting there.
Leave that Fruit on the Tree
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” — Genesis 3: 1-12, (NIV)
In Genesis 3, the serpent challenged Eve with a question that led her to doubt God and what He had commanded about not eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She knew that she was not supposed to eat from it but she started reasoning and justified her decision to violate God’s command. Her reasoning did not change the fact that eating the forbidden fruit was sin and introduced death into the world. Fact will always be fact despite human reasoning.
The Comparison Game
I’m a Christian and I often struggle with what I call the comparison game. Daily, I have to shut down lying thoughts that try to tell me stupid stuff like:
‘you probably missed God because you are over 30 and single’
‘God is holding out on you; you’re missing something good’
‘you are wasting time waiting, you need to put yourself out there and make it happen on your own’
‘your friends are all married with children and you’re not; there’s something wrong with you’
‘did you really hear God, is He even with you?‘
The enemy is out to destroy my relationship with God, he wants me to doubt the Lord’s authority, love, and concern for me and every detail about my life. When things don’t arrive on my timetable, I can’t give into discouragement because what I thought was something good didn’t work out the way I had imagined or hoped. More often than not, whether it was a relationship, a job, or an opportunity that didn’t work out, I can trust and believe that it wasn’t God’s best for me. Rest assured, the Lord will always come through with the upgrade.
I’ve settled on this– if the Lord thought so much about me that He didn’t think twice about giving me Jesus- His one and only perfect Son to secure my eternal life, how much more willing is He to give me good things that would enrich my earthly life?
Unpack Your Bags Now Instead of Later
I realize that God has graced me in my single life to work out a lot of things before I get married. He’s disciplining me to be a godly wife not just in the spiritual things, but in the practical things because honestly, if I can’t manage my own laundry by keeping my hamper empty, why would He add my husband’s and children’s clothes to it?
Seriously, there are a lot of things that I want to overcome; whether it’s being too emotional at times, overly analytical, or healing from past hurtful events. These and other issues are areas the Lord is growing, pruning, and maturing me through because frankly, I don’t want to expose my husband or my children to a bunch of emotional baggage.
There’s so much more on the table than we realize. God loves us–there’s a purpose for every season and every challenge that you and I encounter. We can’t waste time looking at other people around us and measure our life by what they present on the surface. Don’t assume that everyone who is married has “arrived” and overcome everything that you are trying to master and overcome as a single person. Prayerfully, they are continuing to grow in their relationship with their spouse by the Lord’s leading. Let God measure your progress and set your standards. Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses.
Submit to The Lord
As a single woman with a desire to marry God’s best one day, the temptation to believe that I’m not where I need to be will always be there. Unless I deny these thoughts access into my mind, I will constantly second-guess and doubt God, His provision, and His plan for how He wants me to live the life He’s given me. That doubt will lead me away from His guidance and further into my own pursuit of what I think is right. That’s a dangerous place to be. I can’t lead or submit to myself but with the help of the Holy Spirit, I can submit to the Lord and He’ll lead me to where I need to be.
When you are waiting on and serving God, you don’t have to worry about time. Trust the Lord, He made eternity and is not limited by measurable time on a calendar. Don’t compare yourself to others around you, just keep moving forward to your final destination.