Single not the Shingles
Updated: Aug 17, 2020
“There is more in the balm to heal than there is in guilt to wound; for there is more in grace to save than there is in sin to destroy.” J.C. Philpot
As I went to publish the first way we can steward our single years in preparation for marriage I was moved this morning by the cry of so many of my single friends. This is not to say that all single people are crying in desperation to be loved and walk around wallowing in their sorrows, but simply that some of them are ready for a serious relationship and ultimately marriage. Some of the greatest people I know have been single well into their 30s and beyond. They are Jesus loving, funny, altruistic, talented, compassionate, all diversely unique in their interests and hobbies, and yes- single. It is always that cringe worthy moment when a person in a relationship says, “ Oh my gosh you are amazing why are you single?” As though being single is only for the deranged misfits of the world. This always reminds me of the the movie Elf. As the story unfolds, in the beginning of the movie there is this classic scene where Buddy, the main character, is sitting at the table among elves checking to see if the toys are functioning properly. The ones that don’t work get tossed in the misfit toys pile while the rest are sent to Santa’s sleigh for delivery to their homes. In the same way, it sometimes feels as a single person like you’ve been questioned and tested by others to see if you function properly and if not you get tossed in the pile of misfits. Regardless of the circumstances of your singleness, for many (not all) it is a revolving loop of questioning your worth, rejection, loneliness, anxiety, fear of the unknown, and deep heart pain rooted in all sorts of shame and condemnation. It is with a deep well of empathy that I see the difficulties of singleness for some, but I also see the open invitation from Jesus to come sit at His feet and listen to the words of hope He has for you, to speak life into your spirit, and heal you in ways that companionship with another could never fulfill.
Today let us put aside what we can do and go where deep meets deep. Let us ask the Father what truly moves Him, and let the Father pour out the healing balm of Gilead upon the most tender parts of our hearts. For as Christ serves us as the healing balm we receive as His bride. The incandescent light of His gentle beauty washes over the very wounds we thought made us misfits into His chosen ones perfectly and wonderfully made in His image and likeness.
The things that move that Father are the things that move the kingdom into a place of unity. It is through worshipping and praising Him with all of our might that we get to encounter the glorious goodness and excitement in belonging to the Father. Psalm 47 is one of many examples of this invitation to praise Him as it exclaims, “Oh clap your hands, all you people; shout to God with the voice of triumph and songs of joy. For the Lord Most High is to be feared (and worshipped with awe- inspired reverence and obedience); He is a great King over all the earth. He subdues people under us And nations under our feet. He chooses our inheritance for us, The glory and excellence of Jacob whom He loves. Selah. God has ascended amid shouting, The Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises in a skillful psalm and with understanding. God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne. The princes of the people have gathered together as the people of God of Abraham, For the shields of earth belong to God; He is highly exalted.”
What does worshipping God have to do with being single and the wounds we have incurred? It has everything to do with it because it is one of the ways God uses the healing balm, Jesus to love us. In gratitude and praise of Jesus we receive a healing inside us that is incomparable to anything I have ever known. Some of my greatest encounters I have ever had with the Lord are in the midst of dancing, singing, praising Him through tear filled eyes. The Father is touched by the humble heart able to muster out their thanks and praise regardless of how they are feeling. It is one of the most incredible parts of being a witness to His goodness. God does not hold back on His children. He simple ushers us into a place of deep intimacy with Him where vulnerability is clothed in laughter and tears are turned into a dance with the King of all Kings.
God also wants to replace our thoughts of being misfits with the understanding that He would and He did sell it all because he sees us as His precious pearls. In Matthew 13:45-46 it says, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, and upon finding a single pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
It says that upon finding a single pearl, (single as in one) he sold it all. It does not say after finding two pearls or three pearls or four. No, it says one, and you are worthy as the one in His eyes. This does not change by your relationship status. Scripture also points this out in the story of the Shepard that leaves the entire flock of 99 for the one. Again, he leaves for the one, as in the single sheep. The lost, the broken, and the lonely are who truly move the Father to a place of compassion. He wishes to restore us all. He is moved enough to come after us. He is moved enough to sacrifice His only son, as in His one and single son.
You are not a misfit toy in the eyes of the Father. You are a precious pearl, beautiful and worthy to be loved. So rest today, do not strive to understand why you are alone, why you cannot seem to find that special someone to walk this journey with, or why you feel such feelings of rejection, loneliness, or emptiness. Recognize your feelings, feel your feelings, express your feelings, but do not forget the last part, lay all your cares at the Fathers feet. He hears your every cry, He is moved with compassion for you alone, and He wishes to pour that healing balm on the very wounds that you have tried to cover up for so long. In exchange for your weariness He will give you a place of rest and a resiliency to never lose sight of our chance to commune with Him. You may be single, but you are not a case of the shingles, and you certainly are not a misfit. Regardless if it is a moments time in your life, a season, or a call to be single, use it to glorify His name and to love others well. You will have lived a full life not in vain. For remember, we are all the same as Ecclesiastes 3:20 reminds us “We all go to one place; all are from the dust, and all return to it.” Go in peace today, to love and serve the Lord. He will take care of the rest.
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