There are times when God calls us to go, and there are also times when God calls us to stay and be content in where He has us. For many years I struggled with the concept of singleness. It was hard for me to understand how to embrace contentment and yet still have a healthy desire for marriage. A few years ago, a woman bought me a book on singleness for Valentine’s Day. I respect this woman very much, and out of that respect for her, I read the book. I’ve read my share of singleness books, but this one was different and caught my attention, speaking straight to my heart. The book is “Fine China is for Single Women Too” by Lydia Brownback, and the ideas in this post are based on a portion of the book. It is an amazing book, and if you are struggling with contentment in your singleness, I highly recommend you read it.
But this post isn’t just about singleness; it is about contentment and where God has you in life. I want to encourage you to embrace these concepts because they can be applied to any season of life. God has a plan for our lives and He is sovereign over all things.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
God has drawn boundaries around the territory where He wants us to be. Just as He assigned territories to the different tribes of Israel, He has determined ‘territories’ for our lives and the various seasons within our lives. The tribes’ territories in Israel were not identical in size or landscape, but God assigned each tribe to a portion of land in which they would honor Him. Our seasons of life vary and may look very different from other people’s lives, but God has given us boundaries in which to live for His glory and for His purposes. Brownback writes,
“Around the life of each one of His daughters God has drawn the lines in which we are to live, and it is only within those lines that each of us can find true contentment.”
We will be most joyful and fulfilled when we are living out God’s will for our lives in the territories that He has drawn for us. To try to leave those territories (when God has told us to stay) is rebellion against God. Our truest joy will be found when we are in obedience to God, not when we are rebelling.
It is one thing to say that God is sovereign and it is quite another thing to live as if God is sovereign. We are called to trust Him and to believe not only that He controls all things but also that His path will bring us the most joy. Additionally, knowledge must be followed up with action! Brownback addresses this in detail in her book and highlights 1 Samuel 15:22-23a (NKJV):
“Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the LORD?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.”
Rebellion is compared to witchcraft and stubbornness is compared to iniquity and idolatry – yikes! How often do we consider the great weight of our sins of rebellion and stubbornness? When God tells us to stay and to wait on Him, we are faced with a choice: obey or rebel. And if we rebel, we are sinning grievously against the Almighty God.
Still struggling with surrendering your knowledge to the Lord’s plan? Job is an amazing book, particularly chapters 38 to 41 as God displays His great power over all of creation.
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.” Job 38:4 (ESV)
After God’s long narrative explaining the magnitude of His power and the miniscule abilities of man, Job saw his need for humility in the presence of the mighty God and his response was,
“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:2
I encourage you to read this portion of Job and contemplate God’s great power. He is bigger than any struggle in your heart and any obstacle you might face – trust Him!
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose…What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:28, 31-32 ESV)
About the Author
I am a Christ-loving woman who is continually being stretched by the Lord. I live in small-town Texas and love playing soccer, baking cookies, playing games and hugging trees. I split my time between working towards the conservation of endangered species and training up the next generation of children and youth at my church.