But time after time, that "Friend who sticks closer than a brother" would come and meet me there in that room. He would remind me of His love and assure me of His presence. He would remind me that He Himself is my ultimate "dwelling place" (Ps. 90:1), and that the longings I was feeling could not be filled by any physical place or person but only by God Himself.

 

Frequently the Holy Spirit would bring to mind the words of the Lord Jesus: "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." (Matt. 8:20). I was reminded that I was not alone in this calling and that He understood the peculiar demands of this "gypsy" lifestyle, because He had been there Himself! 

 

Then, through my tears, I would lift my heart up to the Lord and say, "Oh, Lord Jesus, the servant is not greater than his master. Thank You for calling me to follow You. Thank You that You know what it is like not to have a place to call Your own. I just want to be Your servant and to be like You. Thank You for the grace to fulfill the calling You have given to me. And thank You for the privilege of giving up some of the desires of my heart so that I can truly come to experience that You are enough!"   

 

Through those experiences, I was enabled to enter into a sweetness and depth of fellowship with the Lord Jesus that might not have been possible apart from having experienced those unfulfilled longings. In fact, years later, when I began to travel less and the Lord graciously blessed me with a home, I was almost hesitant to make the change, because I didn't want to lose that precious sense of identifying with Him!

 

As a single woman, I never want to become so settled and "secure" in a home, a job, a social group, or a geographic location that I am not willing to move or change the instant God wants to give me a different assignment.  We must count it a privilege to relinquish all temporal security in order to follow Jesus and be eternally secure in Him.

 

Yes, there are still times when my emotions take over and I have to deal with intense desires for human companionship, for deeper roots, or for a place to belong. But, as Elisabeth Elliot reminds us, those unfulfilled longings can become "material for sacrifice" - they give us something to offer up to the One who gave up everything for us. 

 

 

Excerpted from Singled Out for Him by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Copyright 1998 by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Used by permission of Life Action Ministries.

 

Since 1980 Nancy Leigh DeMoss has served as the Director of Publications and Women's Ministries and as the editor of Spirit of Revival magazine, for Life Action Ministries, a revival ministry, based in Niles, Michigan. She is the author of A Place of Quiet Rest: Finding Intimacy with God Through a Daily Devotional Life, Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free and A 30-Day Walk With God in the Psalms (Moody Press). Nancy also hosts Revive Our Hearts, a daily radio program for women that airs each weekday on over 200 stations nationwide.