(The Single Woman Series – Batch 4)
This is the question that many women have asked throughout the generations. For most, they asked this question out loud to God or some have voiced it with their minds, although not their lips.
They asked this question because deep down, a resentment started to creep in, as they saw other friends, work colleagues, family members and Church brother and sisters being blessed in exactly the way they longed to be blessed.
This question, often posed to God is facetious at best. For, when it is asked, the one making the enquiry starts with the assumption, that God has been withholding blessings from him or her.
Yet, that is not at all true. For, the mere fact that a person is alive and is in his or her right mind and has his or her five senses and has basic food, clothing, shelter and many other things that are so often taken for granted, this means that God has been blessing that person, even more than he or she deserves.
God is so good with his blessings, that he even blesses those who live rebellious lives against his will and refuse to submit to his leading. Matthew 5:45 states that “…he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
When people ask God why he isn’t blessing them therefore, it is a wrong question to ask because he has already blessed them immeasurably with life, strength and so much more and continues to bless them daily.
What they usually mean is that they have had their heart set on something, a particular blessing, that has not come to fruition. Days, weeks, months and years have passed and they are at the point where the hope deferred is making their heart sick (Proverbs 13:12).
They therefore come to the conclusion that God is not blessing them, that he is deliberately withholding this particular desire of their heart and they question why.
For some women, this is the desire to have a spouse and to be married. For others who are already in a marriage, it is the desire to have a child.
Such persons feel like they have been praying for months and for years, without change and they are close to being frustrated. Why is God withholding this blessing, while blessing others with the same thing? Why is it that as the years roll on, they feel like if they are continually walking in a dark, sad and lonely path? Why is it that God seemingly refuses to shine his light on their situation so that it can be changed?
I cannot pretend to know the answer to these questions. For every woman, the answer is different, according to their circumstances. For some, it is that their petition is not God’s will for their lives. For others, it is that God will not grant the blessing before the timing he has set for it, according to his divine purposes.
For those who are God’s children through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, God has a set role for us to play in this life, which he planned before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 2:10; 1:4-6). Whether you like it or not therefore, like Jonah and Moses who put up resistance against God’s plan for their lives but then realized that they could not win, we must fulfil that God-appointed role.
For some, this means getting married much later in life than they had hoped, wanted or dreamed. For others, it means having a child after ten or more years of childlessness in their marriage.
There is a group of women though, that God desires to bless with the blessing they desire but has been unable to do so because of their own actions.
Now what do I mean by that?
Well, Isaiah 59 gives us some insight. As I read it a few days ago, I thought of single women especially, many of whom have been desiring to be married for a very long time, without change. Many of them, although not all, have however, been living rebellious lives to God, even though they continue going to Church.
They rebel by delighting in gossip, badmouthing others and harbouring bitterness, jealousy hatred, malice and non-forgiveness in their hearts toward others, when God has told them from his Word, to let it go. They rebel by taking delight in these wicked ways that God despises and they have felt justified in doing so because of how miserable they feel as single women.
There is a saying that misery loves company and many single women who feel lonely and forgotten, have decided to use their time, lips and energy, to invest in the business of others, meddling where they ought not to and speaking evil of others, especially of other women.
They love hearing bad news about others because it brings some sort of solace temporarily to themselves and they hate it whenever they hear that some other woman is getting married or has found someone to start a courtship with or that after having married, that woman has gotten pregnant and is now expecting a brand new baby.
Simply put, these single women are not happy when other people have happy news but jealous, bitter, mad and upset. They therefore work hard and sometimes in subtle ways, to cast some shade on the sunshine of others.
Needless to say, these are sins that God will not bless.
Isaiah 59:1-18 describes these troublemaking women perfectly and how God feels about them. It reads:
- “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.
- None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper. Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.
- Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.
- Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.
- We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us. For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them; In transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter…According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.”
Included in the above description are those who have chosen to live wickedly with their tongue and hearts, yet have given a show of ‘righteousness’ and have convinced themselves that God is pleased with their Church attendance, ‘ministry’ activities, prayers and fasting and that therefore, he should grant them their request. They forget that God sees the heart and he is not mocked. Whatever they have been sowing therefore, they will reap.
To be involved in Church activities, prayers and even fasting but yet to dislike or hate your brother or sister is counterproductive. The words you have used against them, betray the true state of your heart. You have been malicious, hoping to damage their reputation with your words, to give yourself attention and to make yourself feel better.
In your pride, you thought that God did not see it but he did and in withholding your so-called ‘blessing’, he may be repaying you for your evil deeds of which you have not yet repented.
That hatred and jealousy you secretly harbour for that person, God sees it and until you get rid of it and align yourself with his holy standards in humility, confession, repentance and obedience, your fasting, praying and whining about your situation, will not help. It will be to no avail.
In the preceding chapter of Isaiah 58:1-11, it reads:
- “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge?
- Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?
- Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
- THEN shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward. THEN shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; THEN shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day: And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.”
These scriptures make it clear therefore, that many times when we feel as if we are walking in darkness and groping in uncertainty and stagnancy in life, without any real progress, it is because of our own sins which we need to confess, repent of and forsake. Isaiah 59:7-10 emphasizes this when it says:
- “Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.”
To be quite honest, I have been guilty of the gossip, maliciousness and ill-will to others in my own life and was chastened severely by the Lord for it. When I came to the end of myself, I had to go to Him in humility, confess my wickedness, what I did wrong and repent. I understood why I did it but I still had no justifiable excuse. Much of what I said I know was true but I have realized that it is not every truth that needs to be uttered about others. Some things we should keep to ourselves, especially when we know that what we say, will injure others.
For those who take stock of their ways by first being honest with themselves and God and examining the state of their hearts, then forsaking the wicked ways and motives, Isaiah 58:8-11 states, that the Lord will send his light to guide their path forward, to a place of abundance.
- “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day: And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.”
Now I know that there are some women who will say and rightly so, that they have examined their hearts and gotten rid of the wickedness and that they have been abstaining from gossip, speaking evil of others and being malicious. They will tell you that, although they are not perfect, they have allowed God to do a work on their hearts, to the point where they now rejoice with those who God has blessed in the ways that they too have desired to be blessed and sincerely from the heart.
They are also not bitter and resentful against God but have surrendered their will for his will in their lives, whatever that may look like. However, they will say that they have continued to hope in his goodness for a change in their circumstances but year after year, nothing has changed and now, they feel weary and are close to feeling discouraged.
Such women who feel like they are striving to live right but are still walking in a dark path, can find encouragement in Isaiah 50:10. While God does not guarantee to anyone that he or she will get everything that he or she wants to have in this life, it reads: “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and STAY upon his God.”
God is saying here that if, as a Christian, you are pursuing after righteous living but feel as if you are still along a dark, difficult path, don’t let go. STAY upon your God. Continue believing, continue trusting and continue hoping. Even if you don’t understand what is happening and why you are being allowed to go through what you are going through, God knows and he has your life mapped out perfectly.
Galatians 6:9 goes hand in hand with the verse I just quoted about continuing to have faith in God, where it admonishes Christians: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
For some such women therefore, it is just a matter of timing. If it is God’s will, God has a set time planned for when that particular thing you have been praying about and desiring, will come to pass and there is nothing that you can do to accelerate the process. Abraham, Zechariah, Manoah and their wives learned this. They and their wives were serving God to the best of their ability, yet they remained barren until God was ready to give them conception, the child being for his divine purposes.
Whatever blessing God gives you is for his divine purposes, not yours really. Our lives are about HIS story, not our own.
Job and Joseph in Egypt are good examples of people who were living right but yet walking in darkness, while waiting on God’s timing and deliverance. These men lived righteous lives yet suffered immensely and for years and years, darkness was their path. All this changed though when the Lord’s appointed time to shine light on their situation was come. His eyes were not blinded to how they had lived. He had not forgotten them or forsaken them, he just had a set time to bring them out of darkness for HIS glory. When that time came, he intervened, he vindicated them, healed them of their hurt and blessed them.
For some women who once lived wickedly (even as Christians) but have since repented, forsaken their evil ways and received God’s forgiveness, maybe the days for your chastening, as a consequence of your past sins, have not yet expired. For, as we learned in David’s situation with Bathsheba, God forgives when we repent but he sometimes allows the consequences to flow.
If God has set a period for your punishment therefore, although you have repented and he is merciful, that period must expire before he shines light on your situation. He is a just God and you know that your punishment, long as it may be, painful as it may be is what you rightly deserve.
By the grace of God though, once you continue along the path of righteous living, there will be an end date to your period of darkness. In Isaiah 40:1-2, God spoke through the Prophet Isaiah to his people Israel, whose expiry date for punishment had arrived, saying:
- “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”
In Isaiah 54:7-9, the Lord said to them:
- “For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.”
Lamentations 3:1-6;18-26, 31-33 also reads:
- “I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. He hath led me and brought me into darkness, but not into light. Surely against me is he turned; he turneth his hand against me all the day. My flesh and my skin hath he made old; he hath broken my bones. He hath builded against me and compassed me with gall and travail. He hath set me in dark places, as they that be dead of old…And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord.
- Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. My soul hath them still in remembrance and is humbled in me. This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope, It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord…For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly not grieve the children of men…”
Lamentations 4:22 also speaks of the expiry date for the period of Israel’s punishment from the Lord, for sin. It reads: “The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion: he will no more carry thee away into captivity…”
In Jeremiah 31:16-20, the Prophet of God told the Israelities who God had rightfully chastised for their sins:
- “Thus saith the Lord, Refrain thy voice from weeping and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord, that thy children shall come again to their own border.
- I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded because I did bear the reproach of my youth.
- Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord.”
Finally (and I speak to my own self in this), to the Christian woman who has repented of her wrong (whatever that may be) and is striving to continue on the path of righteous living but is still reaping a harvest of darkness without change because God has a set time for the expiry of her punishment and it has not yet come, Isaiah 51:21; 52:1-3 is comforting when one considers what God will do and how brightly he will shine his light on that circumstance, when the expiry date arrives. It reads:
- “Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine: Thus saith thy Lord the Lord, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again: But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over…
- Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. For thus saith the Lord, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money.”
(Written on 31st January, 2020)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be interesting, informative, edifying or beneficial, you may also be interested in reading the following:
- Note 42 – ‘When That Door Wouldn’t Budge’
- Note 43 – ‘Claiming The Promises Of God (Part One)’
- Note 44 – ‘Claiming The Promises of God (Part Two)’
- Note 45 – ‘I Know The Plans I Have For You’
- Note 46 – ‘The Sins Of The Tongue (External Author 1)’
- Note 47 – ‘The Sins Of The Tongue Reloaded (External Author 2)’
- Note 48 – ‘Taming the Tongue – What The Bible Says About Gossip’
- Note 49 – ‘Self-Inflicted Wounds’
- Note 94 – ‘How To Be Blessed’
- Note 164 -‘Seven (7) Mindsets That Will Keep You Stuck In The Land Of Sterility’
- Note 222 -‘Suffering? Bad Attitudes That Will Only Make It Worse’
- Note 229 -‘I Want To Be Blessed’
- Note 254 – ‘Eight (8) Reasons Why You May Still Be Single’