If the answer is “No,” is He still good?
I’ve asked God for the good gift of a husband and children more times than I can recount. I’ve poured out my heart to Him. I’ve known paralyzing moments of pain in the silence of the unanswered request. And I don’t believe I’m the only one.
So, what do you do when your prayers remain unanswered? What do you do with the nagging sense that God is withholding something good from you? What if you go your whole life without getting married or having kids? What do you do when you feel pathetic or shallow for wanting something so badly?
The Ache Is Real
Sister, your unfulfilled desire for an earthly husband and family is God-given. Don’t brush that longing aside. Don’t pretend it’s not there. Open up the honest depths of your heart to your merciful Savior. He is listening. He hears every sigh. He keeps every tear. The more deeply you open up to Him, the more deeply His grace and truth can flood your heart, the more real your faith in Him can be. His character and His Word can withstand your hardest questions. God wants all of your heart. And He is honored in your drawing near to Him in your brokenness. (Psalm 103:13-14)
The Ache Is a Gift
This world is not our home. Christ redeemed us for an eternal inheritance. Therefore, our unfulfilled longing, in whatever form that takes, is a gift He has given us to declare His trustworthiness. Do you realize how much pleasure you bring your King when you declare with your words and life, “I love and trust my Lord more than I want ____.”?
Unfulfilled longing is also a gift we can use to minister to others. We are surrounded by people who need the comfort of fellow sufferers, fellow endurers. That is part of the beauty of the Church. Jesus did not leave you alone; He means for you to live life, in all its glorious tension of joy and sorrow, feasting and fasting, forgiving and confessing, with other believers in a local church.
Because of this, every day of your life is filled with purpose, opportunities to know Christ better and bring Him glory. Look around you with a grateful heart and behold the green pastures your Shepherd leads you through. Offer your empty hands to the children around you in need of care, let the overflowing love in your heart spill over into the lives of those around you, share your time, energy, and mercy with those in need, and find JOY!
The Ache Is Not Everything
The grace of God revealed in the gospel enables us to face our worst fears with invincible faith–not because of our strength, but because of God’s trustworthiness. What if you never get married? Is He enough? Is He truly, really enough for you?
God the Son has purchased your eternal bliss with His blood. God the Father has, in love, picked out the perfect path for your good and His glory. God the Spirit has been given to you to be your sufficient strength, comfort, hope, peace, and joy. God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe knows your name and caused you to be born again to a living hope, to an imperishable, undefiled, unfading inheritance–Himself! Even if God grants you the gifts you long for, it is He alone who satisfies the exploding longings of our hearts—
He satisfies us in the morning with His steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. (Psalm 90:14)
He satisfies us with good so that our youth is renewed as the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:5)
He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things. (Psalm 107:9)
Is He not enough?
The Ache Is Not Forever
One day soon, the shadow will pass away into brilliant Reality, and Jesus Christ will finally be with His Bride forever. If you have trusted in His death and resurrection for the forgiveness of your sins, you will by His grace be a part of that holy, happy, glorious family forever. Set your hope on that day! And enjoy this day, living in the good of your certain future.
Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. – 1 Peter 4:19 (ESV)