“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 good man I had fallen for was definitely not one of them.
David was honorable, handsome, patient, and perhaps most importantly, not fazed by all my aggresssive twenty-something angst. In fact, he was the calm and steady answer to many of my people’s faithful prayers.
My big problem wasn’t with being able to identify and appreciate a decent 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 in my heart? Is this some sort of test? A sign from heaven? A closed-door? A deal-breaker?”
Lord have mercy. Lord hear my prayer.
“God?! Are you listening? How can I make a decision to live a comfortable married suburban life while the rest of the world suffers? Am I selling out? Am I denying you? I don’t understand why he doesn’t feel called to the suffering of the world? If he loves me (and if he loves you, Father) THEN 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. As a minister to women, I think this rings true.
Most women I know deeply long for their labor to count for something significant and eternal. They want the sum of their lives to point to something far more. At the end of days they hope to hear, “Well done, my good faithful servant.” I get this longing.
But 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 corner of earth, wherever that is, look and feel more like heaven for the other inhabitants there.
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 easily use a woman who is always anxiously scanning the horizon for something more meaningful to come along? Can blessing flow from someone who doesn’t honor the place and the people that God has prepared for her to tend?
God help me become a woman who doesn’t rush by, or count as disruptions, those in my daily well-worn path. Help me to resist lusting after more significant and interesting scenery. God help me to become a woman who gives thanks for her daily bread, even if it’s not a baguette, or bhakri, or naan.
3. Blessed is the woman who knows nothing is insignificant to God.
Has any day of this life been a waste? Of course not. How do we know? Because the body of Jesus was willingly wasted, broken and bruised, to infuse your life with real meaning.
Is there any work you can do in this life that will make you more favored by God? No, dear ones. Because the blood of Jesus was poured out, wasted on helpless sinners, so that we would not need to ever wonder, “Have I done enough? Are my efforts significant enough for God?”
It is the work of Jesus alone that gives us favor with God. It is his obedient and humble work on the cross that will heal the whole world.
Like blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10), we are the poor, desperate, and needy beggar calling outside the city gates. We have lots of issues. We don’t bring anything remotely significant or lovely to the table.
But like hopeful Bartimaeus, we also can have an audacious trust that Jesus will hear us and stop to help us. He won’t pass by for more important people or things.
Christ will stop if we call him, and he will restore our sight if we ask him. Because nothing done in the faith, hope, or love of Christ is insignificant in God’s kingdom.
Lord have mercy. Lord hear our prayer.
Peace to you and yours today – for your here-and-now life already points to far more.