More Than These
- Thursday, November 27, 2008
I want to know. I have always wanted to know. Everything!!! But in my singleness I wanted most of all to know why love tarried. I was under the impression that given enough information, given the right answers I would be able to cope with my loneliness and rest peacefully in God’s arms.
The truth is I would not understand were He to explain all things to me. I would not grasp the mind of God should He open to me the gates of heaven. And I realized that it was a relationship I craved and not knowledge. What I wanted was for the sadness to end, for love to present herself. Knowing would never keep me warm. Knowing would not end the loneliness.
The desire to know was my way of controlling God. It was my way of harnessing the reckless nature of faith, of taming the mysterious God who causes the wind to blow. I won’t pretend that I don’t want to know why love shows me such disregard but the answer has ceased to be so important because I love Him and He loves me.
Our God loves us and desires to bless us and so we have hope. What we do not yet know is whether He plans to bless us with this particular gift—whether hope will be fulfilled and if so—when. That He desires to bless us, that He has already blessed us in myriad ways is unquestionable “for no matter how many promises God has made, they are 'Yes' in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 1:20).
It is simply no comfort to me to find formulas within Scripture that I can use to end this longing. It is no comfort to me to hear people, impressed with me, say, “Surely God will bless you.” Or some will say, “You deserve a wife.” I am aware of what I deserve and it is not a wife. I already have a promise in Christ that I will not get what I deserve. What I await is His gracious kindness.
In all cases and in every way it is God’s provision, God’s work through Christ. Therefore, I pursue righteousness because it is a worthwhile pursuit. Then, I trust God to bless in His time, in His way. I am comfortable saying, “I don’t know.” I have been to seminary and, while I learned a great deal, while I am not equipped to answer many questions, I am very comfortable saying that there are things I just do not know.
What I dare not do is sit and wait for the blessing of a wife. What I dare not do is believe that some slick formula or five-step process will work magic for me where God’s grace has not. What I dare not do is begin the process of bargaining or manipulation to make God answer me—as though He were deaf or callous to my needs.
We must pray. We must act. We must prepare. But we dare not lose sight of our place in the family. He is the Father and we are the children and as children—we know the Father would never give us a stone when we ask for bread (Matthew 7:9).
We are not in control of as much as we desire, but that is the issue. Who is in control and why do we desire to master the situation? This is what steals our peace. We are pushed off center by the fear that, for all our prayers and the prayers of those who love us we are no closer to our goal. We are unearthed by the simple fact that all our efforts have not yielded the promised result and we judge God for sleeping on the job.
I realize that He may have called me to Himself for more than a wife and family. I know that I came for more than a wife and family. I have a longing but I realize that He loves me and that, despite what I have and do not have, I love Him. I truly love Him. I have had to answer, far more than three times, the question He posed to Peter:
“Hudson, do you truly love me more than these?”
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