“Dear God. You know I really love this man, but I’m not sure I should marry him.”
Like many young adults, I had plenty of real and imagined issues in my early twenties. However, the man I had fallen for was definitely not one of them. He was honorable, considerate, patient, and – perhaps most importantly – not overly fazed by all my twenty-something crazy. He was an answer to many of my people’s faithful prayers.
My big problem then, was not with being able to properly identify and appreciate a good man. Rather, it was that I was ready and willing to GO AND DO BIG THINGS FOR GOD, and David wasn’t any closer to selling his ’85 Honda Accord and moving to Africa with me.
“Argh, God!? How can I marry a man who doesn’t share my call to serve you in an extraordinary way? Aren’t you the one who planted this longing in my heart? Is this some sort of test? A sign from heaven? A closed-door? An open window? A deal-breaker…?”
Lord have mercy. Lord hear my prayer.
“God?! Are you listening? How can I make a decision to live a comfortable life while the rest of the world suffers? Am I selling out? Am I denying you? Is this what it means to be unequally yoked? I don’t understand why he doesn’t feel called to go (at all)? WHY WON’T HE GO?”
I recently read an article that said the biggest fear for Christian women in my generation is that they ‘don’t want to waste their lives’. Most women I know long for their labor to count for something significant and eternal. They want their lives to point to something more. At the end, they want to be told, “Well done, my good faithful servant.
Friends, may I tell you a few things that I wish someone had told me back then, and that I still need to preach to myself often?
1. Blessed is the woman who comes in the name of the LORD.
Whether she walks down her cul-de-sac, into a board room, or into a mud hut, she goes with God to do the good works he has prepared for her since the foundation of time.
The woman who comes (and goes) in the name of the LORD blesses her people and her place. This means that she makes her place – wherever that is – look more like heaven for her people.
2. Blessed is the woman who is fully present wherever she is.
Can I tell you what is a wasted life? A restless woman who longs to be anywhere-but-here, doing anything-but-this. Can God use a woman who is always itchy, twitchy, and pining for something else? Can blessing flow from someone who doesn’t honor the exact place, and the particular people, that God has prepared precisely for her?
God help me become a neighbor who doesn’t rush by (or step over) those lying in her everyday road. Help me to resist lusting after more significant and interesting scenery. Help me to become a woman who gives thanks for her daily bread, even if it’s not a baguette, or bhakri, or naan.
Lord have mercy. Lord hear our prayer.
3. Blessed is the woman who is marked as Christ’s own.
Has any breath of your life been a waste. Of course not. How do I know? Because the body of Jesus was willingly wasted – broken to death – as a ransom for you.
Is there any work you can do that will make you more favored by God? Of course not, dear one. Because the blood of Jesus was wasted – poured out freely for all – so that you would not ever need wonder, “Have I done enough? Am I worth saving? Is my life’s work significant enough?”
You and I bring nothing of valuable to the LORD’s table. Like Bartimaeus, we are the blind, poor, and needy (so very needy!) beggar outside the city gates. The only thing we bring is a bold trust that we will be seen, heard, and healed by Jesus – and that it is his work and word that gives anyone sight or significance in his kingdom.
Peace to you and yours. And take heart in all God is doing every place, tribe and nation. Yes, even in your place! With your tribe! And in your nation!
Lord have mercy. Lord hear our prayer.