Waiting in faith...

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Thinking this exchange might be helpful to a number of Christian brothers and sisters God has blessed with singleness, I post it here. First, a comment left yesterday under a 2006 post titled, "Single Christian women: how shall we then wait...."

I would like to know what do advise for someone over fifty that has waited for a spouse and a career. I asked GOD when I was very young what he wanted for me and I am still waiting. It is hard to watch people saved and unsaved marry and have child when your GOD has left you hanging. How do you not lose faith? I am never asked if I am married by the way only why I don't have children.

Dear Diane,

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (James 1:27)

I'm very sorry to hear that our Heavenly Father has not chosen to give you a husband and children. This is a difficult life to live and it's clear you feel the disappointment keenly. May I give you a couple brief suggestions?

First, it would be better to think that God has answered you, and clearly. He has made you single and you have been living His will for you every day and month and year and decade of the past three decades. When a loved one or brother in Christ is struck with a terminal illness, quite naturally we turn to God in prayer asking Him to heal. When the beloved is not healed, but instead wastes away, we continue praying, but as time passes, we change our prayers from "O Lord, please heal my dear sister" to "O Lord, please prepare my sister and her loved ones at home and church for her death, and strengthen her faith in our Lord Jesus Christ." We do not say that God hasn't answered our prayers for healing, but rather that He has answered and His answer is Heaven rather than earth.

Thus you too are not still waiting for God to answer, but He has answered and He is being patient as He waits for you to submit to His will and learn to love and enjoy that will. Live by faith, dear sister; in Heaven, you will have countless brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. You will be the most loved and "familied" woman in history. The last will be first and the first last.

Meanwhile, there is your life to live—not someone else's life whom you envy, but your life—and time's a-wastin. So give yourself to the church and find your love and friendship and children there. Every church is filled with women and their children who have been spurned by their husbands. You comfort them and take them under your wing. You take their children to the Children's Museum and Truck Day and swimming and out for ice cream. You teach them piano and pay for drum lessons for the boy that can't stop banging on things. You be their aunt and, if you do so cheerfully, you will be adored.

There are many other examples like this I could mention, but I'll leave it at that, allowing you to think and strategize and dream, and then serve those who are waiting for you to fulfill the command of our Lord to love your neighbor as yourself.

Which is to say, get to work and you will be happy. Serve the widows and orphans in your church and community and your heart will be filled with joy.

Which is to say, submit to your Heavenly Father and live by faith.

Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, Praise the name of the LORD. Blessed be the name of the LORD From this time forth and forever. From the rising of the sun to its setting The name of the LORD is to be praised. The LORD is high above all nations; His glory is above the heavens. Who is like the LORD our God, Who is enthroned on high, Who humbles Himself to behold The things that are in heaven and in the earth? He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the needy from the ash heap, To make them sit with princes, With the princes of His people. He makes the barren woman abide in the house As a joyful mother of children. Praise the LORD! (Psalms 113:1-9)

With love in Christ,

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!