I once heard of a man who had been told many times that he was an impatient fellow and needed to work on that aspect of his life. On a particular day, he decided to take the matter to God in prayer. A good move, no doubt, but his family members (who were at home when he was praying) weren’t impressed. They found the prayer session torturous as the man in question kept bellowing: ‘‘Lord, give me patience NOW; give it to me now lord; no delays at all, just answer me nooooooowww!’’
Whenever I remember this story, I find it amusing and sobering at the same time. Amusing because the tone of the prayer shows the praying man still had not gotten the memo on the importance of patience. Rather than wait on the Lord to bestow on him the virtue he wanted, he chose to command God impatiently to bless him with the gift of patience. How laughable!
I also find the episode sobering because it reminds me of me, and of you, and basically all of us (humans). We do not enjoy waiting. We want what we want and we want them on the spot, no delay whatsoever. As singles, we often cannot comprehend why we have to wait on God for marriage. Why can’t we easily (and speedily) meet our life partners and settle down quickly like our friends? Why the unpleasant, unending wait…?
Waiting for a God-ordained spouse (or waiting for anything for that matter) is often an unwelcomed experience, because many of us have been conditioned to view waiting as unpleasant. We live in a ‘‘microwave’’ world that encourages instant gratification and scorns submission to godly timelines, processing and procedures. However, a God-centred waiting season of life is not a waste; it is a blessing in disguise. The waiting period gives us opportunities to grow, to prepare (for what we are waiting for), and to build intimacy with God. Let us look closely at these three blessings which the waiting period brings into our lives, particularly as singles.
1. OPPORTUNITY TO STRETCH AND GROW
As Christians, having to wait patiently on God for something that we need reins in our carnal nature. Like nothing else, waiting quietens our flesh and its voices of worry, anxiety, panic and fear. When we finally embrace waiting as an inevitable part of our singleness journey, we begin to trust God more than before; we rest in Him and find peace. The beautiful fruit of patience also starts to grow in us. We become patient with ourselves, with others and with God. At the end of the day, we will notice that waiting brings us to the end of self and fills us with God instead. That is both a miracle and a huge blessing.
2. OPPORTUNITY TO PREPARE FOR THE BLESSING WE DESIRE
I once heard a famous preacher ask his audience at a singles meeting: ‘‘Are you the person the person you are looking for is also looking for?’’ As singles, many of us have a good idea of the qualities we desire to see in our dream spouse. But, do we also embody those qualities? Are we working on ourselves right now to also be the kind of person that someone else would desire to be joined to for life? The waiting period of singleness gives us a golden opportunity for self-discovery and self-development. It is the time to unravel our identity, discover our purpose and equip ourselves for that blissful marriage we desire. If we despise this discovery and preparation period, we would most likely venture into marriage ill-prepared and make a mess of the precious thing we couldn’t wait to lay our hands on.
3. A SEASON TO BUILD INTIMACY WITH GOD
The waiting seasons of life present us with opportunities to seek God more and listen to him for much-needed insights and revelations. Waiting drives us to our knees and puts us in a position of dependence on God. Hardly do we relish being in this seemingly helpless state, but it is a position that sets us up for victory and lasting success.
Waiting may be tough on our flesh, but with God’s help, we can do it and succeed at it. While waiting for that desired breakthrough, marriage or any other specific answer to prayer, endeavour to keep a good attitude and enjoy where you are. Do not be so fixated on a future goal that you forget to enjoy today’s blessings. At the appointed time, the answer will come and then, the wait would be worthwhile.
If you are looking for a group or hub for singles to grow, blossom and get prepared for marriage, the God’s Prepared Singles is just what you need.