I know what it’s like to wait on something and feel like everyone is getting it but you. This is how I’ve felt about my singleness just about every day over the past few months. I have been waiting, and praying, and serving, and fasting; living a life completely devoted to God and still nothing. I know how it feels to be weary in always doing the God thing and not seeing any results from your efforts.
I don’t think we talk about being disappointed with God often enough. Some may even frown their faces at the audacity of me saying that it is possible to feel that God has let you down. We have no issues talking about the feeling of being let down by people but what about when you feel let down by God; what do you do? We scream to the top of our lungs about man disappointing us but what about when we feel God has forgotten or overlooked us. What do you do when you have completely grown weary in doing the God thing?
You Let it Out: Get Real
Pinpoint your emotions. Speak about how you feel. Scream. Yell. Cry. Write. Do what you need to do to express your real and raw emotions to God. The Book of Lamentation is probably not the most popular book in the bible. It is a raw and very depressing account of Prophet Jeremiah’s expression after the destruction of Jerusalem.
Jeremiah spent years trying to convince God’s people to get their lives in order so God wouldn’t destroy their city. He cried out to stony heart people to no avail. Jerusalem was completely destroyed and here in Lamentations, Jeremiah is crying out to God in anguish.
As he sits amongst dead things he says:
I am the man who has seen affliction
by the rod of the Lord’s wrath.
He has besieged me and surrounded me
with bitterness and hardship.
He has made me dwell in darkness
like those long dead.
He has walled me in so I cannot escape;
he has weighed me down with chains.
Even when I call out or cry for help,
he shuts out my prayer.
He has barred my way with blocks of stone;
he has made my paths crooked.
Lamentations 3:1, 5-9 NIV
As I visualized Jeremiah, I thought about myself; I thought about you sitting in the midst of broken dreams – sitting in the ruins of disappointments. Jeremiah was literally in the midst of death; everything around him was in ruins. He expressed, to God, his real and raw feelings about what He was experiencing. He didn’t hold anything back. Jeremiah felt that God blocked out His prayers. He felt like the walls were caving in on him. He felt weighed down with by the burdens of life. He felt as if he was in complete darkness. He was in utter despair and for five chapters he expressed his lament to God.
“Get real with your feelings”, says the girl who tried to run from hers for years. Don’t mask how you feel. Don’t pretend that everything is all right when it isn’t. How do you really feel? After you’ve identified how you feel and you’ve worked through that, remember the promise that God made to you! What has God said about your situation? When I think about all the years I’ve been waiting on a God for my husband, I recall to my mind the promise He made me. I recall the vision that God gave me for my husband and my family and these are the things that give me hope to continue on.
In the midst of his lament, Jeremiah recalls to his mind who God is when he says:
I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left.
God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young
to stick it out through the hard times.
Lamentations 3:19-27 MSG
As Jeremiah remembers who God is, He regains hope. Remember the promise; remember why you started. What promise did God give to you regarding your situation? Although it has felt like delay and disappointment doesn’t mean that it’s final. If you are still living, there is still hope. Sometimes God takes things from us to show us that He has better. Sometimes He allows doors to close, so that He can open ones that truly align with our purpose. Sometimes He allows people to disappoint us so that we can see that only He is perfect. Sometimes He delays the blessings because we would destroy it if we had it now.
The truth is, we never really know what God is doing but the promise of God gives us hope. I know that things may not seem ideal right now for some of you right now but what does God have to say about it? Psalm 30:5 reassures us that: weeping may endure for a night; you wont have to cry about his thing for long. Some are reading this and thinking, it’s already been long; does she know how long I’ve been in this. Here’s what God has to say about that in 2 Peter 3:8: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. What does this mean? Simply put, God doesn’t measure time the way that we measure time. Maybe that is still not enough for you; you are still questioning why you must go through this. God’s word says that in this world you will have trouble but take heart, [be strong, endure]; God got you – He knows what to do ( I am clearly paraphrasing here but read John 16:33).
The only way that I experienced peace in my singleness and grace to remain celibate is through knowing who God is and remembering His promise. This is why it’s so important for you to spend time knowing the God you believe in. How can you have hope for your future if you don’t truly understand who holds it?
Do you know the God that you are waiting on?
What does He say about your situation?
Do you honestly think that God would put us through all of this pain for nothing? I believe wholeheartedly that God uses everything. He uses every tear, every test, every success and every failure; nothing is wasted with Him. So how do we start to deal with this disappointment (when we are not screaming our selfish grievances to God)? We trust God. We trust the plans He has for us. We surrender our will to His.
We learn to listen to that still and small voice that gives us direction to move forward!
We remember the promise.
We let go of the feelings we’ve bottled in.
We try God again and again and again.
We give up giving up because ultimately, God never gives up on us.
Wait on God.