“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Can a person who is single trust God for His very best in life--whether it is in the choice of a mate or finding the grace of God to cope with single frustration? If the promises of Scripture are true, finding the will of God regarding marriage has to be among the most important decisions an individual ever makes in life.
The Bible is full of promises giving us hope for direction. "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go" says Psalm 32:8. Through the prophet Jeremiah God promised, "`For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, `plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'" (Jeremiah 29:11).
Scores of people, though following in the footsteps of Abraham, lose sight of the promises and panic, thinking that they must help God out. They are ones who usually justify marrying the first thing that comes along and live to regret it. More mistakes in the choice of a life partner are made because we "jump the gun" and get ahead of God than about any other way.
"But my biological clock is running," I hear. Or, "If I don't marry him, I may never have another chance." Can you trust God to provide the right one, in His time?
Dave Morrow believes you can. He was raised on the mission field in Africa, and after he completed his seminary training, he took a position in a local church still searching for the right one who could go back to Africa with him.
He kept looking over the crowd every Sunday morning to see if a new face had appeared. Finally he asked my advice. "What do you think God wants you to do with your life?" I inquired.
"I think God wants me in Africa," he responded. I said, "Then you had better get moving that direction," Sudan Interior Mission, the group that Dave was served with, needed him on a rather remote outstation a distance from Addis Ababa. "Great chance of finding a wife there," people teased Dave. Nonetheless, he went there.
Meanwhile an Australian nurse felt called by God into medical missions. She was single but hoped to meet someone who shared her visions of missionary medicine. Nobody even came close to being the answer. Finally she joined the same mission Dave had joined. They told her about a medical work in a pretty remote area outside of Addis Ababa. Her family and friends told her, "If you go there, you'll end up being an old maid for sure."
Putting the will of God above "finding the right man," she packed and went to the field. You guessed it. They met, fell in love, and married. Both of them could so easily have missed God's best for their lives had they gotten ahead of God.
John and Shannon Haslett would agree. After several years of short term missions, both who were single agreed to go to Kenya with YWAM, where they met. "Where are you from?" John asked Shannon. She replied the same town where he lived. "Really," he replied, surprised, "what's your address there?" She told him. Amazed, he replied, "That's exactly where I have been living!" Believe it or not, they both had lived in the same apartment complex in the same city, on the same street, but had to go 7,000 miles away to meet each other, fall in love, marry and have a family. God's will can be trusted, they agree. You can discover that as well. God rewards those who patiently await His will--it's a fact.
Resource reading: 1 Corinthians 7:25-35.