"Persevere," they say. "Take up your cross. Recognize that your crown is on the other side of heaven." My single friends often hear things like this from church friends and leaders when they share about their struggles. But the Bible says so much more than that. Singleness is hard but it not merely a cross to bear; it is also an opportunity. You could be on an adventure of faith with God, pressing on to know him more deeply, and solidifying your devotion to him. You could be thriving in, not merely surviving, your singleness. Because even if your circumstance sucks, God is still good.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield.
The Lord grants favor and honor;
he does not withhold the good
from those who live with integrity.
You open your hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing.
You reveal the path of life to me;
in your presence is abundant joy;
at your right hand are eternal pleasures.
A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.
These things are true right now! When we recognize that forever with God started the moment we first we believed, we see that we can enjoy his presence NOW, we can experience FULLNESS of joy NOW. We can know the pleasures only he can provide NOW. And we will experience and know these pleasures forever.
This is the joy of being in Christ, being found in him. But we so easily forget these things. And, friend, if you are pursuing him but struggling to feel satisfied, wait on him in faith. He is faithful to supply your true and deepest need. Cling to these promises and wait on him.
Passages like Psalm 130 have provided me so much comfort in these times.
I wait for the Lord; I wait
and put my hope in his word.
I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning—
more than watchmen for the morning.
Israel, put your hope in the Lord.
For there is faithful love with the Lord.
Wait in prayer. Wait in his word. Wait in fellowship. But don't wait for him to merely give you what you seek. Wait for him to satisfy you with his love. Anything else is frosting on already soul-satisfying, life-enriching cake. So persist in holy waiting. Prioritize getting alone with him and learn to enjoy him alone. Bring him into those moments where you feel alone, where you feel like you need tangible support to get you through a particular hardship or to make a difficult decision. Remind yourself, preach to yourself, that you are never alone, that Emmanuel is always with you.
This is faithful abiding. You will have hard times, when the desire for a life companion feels like too much to bear. There will be a struggle. And living a life of faith will often be a fight, like it is for us all. But God is good and keeps his word. We often avoid him when we're not getting what we want. And the thing is that doesn't change once married. There's always something else that we just have to have in order to be happy. Thus, no matter what season we are in, the greatest thing we can do is pray for God to teach us to desire him above all others things and be satisfied.
Feast on the Bread of Life, my single sister. Dig deep. May he fill you so that you realize you really aren't as single as you think. He is the most faithful partner of all.