In the past, I've felt weak at the knees and all squirmy inside at the thought of regularly asking God for a life partner, so I generally avoided it. And in doing so, I avoided deep disappointment and disenchantment with life.
I've had no problem, however, asking God for other, very large things. I've asked him for big scholarships in college and grad school, for the salvation of friends, for help with large health bills, for Gideon's fleece-esque signs of direction, for dream jobs.
When my siblings and I were growing up, my mom modeled for us how to invite Jesus into smaller things, too. So when I need the perfect pair of shoes, I ask him to guide me. When I need help reviving a potted plant, I ask him for help. When I am trying to figure out what to cook for dinner, I ask for his advice.
And with each prayer request, God has made his gracious work in my life quite evident. He doesn't always answer like I think he should, but he always acts in a way that assures me of his goodness. So that my specific, sometimes bold, prayers have fortified my faith in significant ways.
But when it comes to asking for a husband — man, sometimes my wayward heart wonders if God is hearing my prayers.
There just seems to so little movement towards this end.
It could be that singleness will always be the instrument God uses to shape me into a vessel that more fully reflects him, and can be used for his Kingdom purposes. If this is the case, then I will rest in the goodness of a God who knows better than I what is best for me and his Kingdom. I'm thankful for his answers to prayer in the past that assure me he is always working for my good and his glory.
But in the meantime, I've decided to bring my lesser, seemingly insignificant dating desires to God. I still ask him for a husband, but I also ask him for other, smaller things.
For years I have taken great delight in
So I have no qualms about seeing a picture of a friend, noticing an attractive or intriguing stranger in the picture, clicking on their name, perusing their photos, finding intriguing strangers in their photos, clicking on these stranger's names etc. etc.
Three times in the last year or so I have stumbled upon interesting-looking men this way who appear to love Jesus.
"God," I've prayed, "I'd like an opportunity to meet and get to know this guy."
And three times I've forgotten about these men, only to meet and go out with them later.
Once I even *discovered* a man via a series of Facebook rabbit trails who seemed quite interesting, but lived in another state. I didn't bother to ask God if I could meet him since it just didn't seem practical.
But you know what? Six months later I did meet him. And we began getting to know each other via Skype. It was great fun.
Obviously none of these men became my husband (well, not yet, anyway), but my interactions with them were valuable in a number of ways. Sometimes my heart needs to be reminded, via experience, of what my head already knows. And the opportunities to go out with these men reminded my forgetful heart that God listens when I pray. He hears and cares about my small prayer requests, and responds to them in ways that assure me is at work.
When my practicality inhibits my prayer life, like it did with out-of-state man, God acts anyway, assuring me he knows and cares about the unspoken things in my heart.
God's answers to my smaller requests may or may not be signs that he is working to bring a husband into my life. But they are most certainly big, bright, flashing signs of his attentiveness, care, and involvement in my life. They're reminders that he hears my prayers for a husband, and cares a lot about them.
So I've begun to make a habit of bringing all my small seemingly, insignificant dating requests before him.
This practice continues to lead me into interactions with God that buoy my faith in his unseen work, and give me hope for the good future he is planning. Prayer about the little things, it turns out, is the best solution for weak knees and squirmy insides.
© by scj