By Fern Horst
Yesterday I received a lovely birthday card from an “older” woman — someone I’ve come to love and respect. She wrote nice things about my “genuine caring and joy in helping others” being “shining reflections of the light deep inside you.” I treasure those words coming from her because she embodies those very characteristics herself and is much more deserving of that description than I am.
But they haven’t come without a price for Margaret (not her real name). We have shared with each other for hours and I know the pain deep in her heart that she has endured. But it’s been that very pain, she realizes, that has driven her to God’s arms to allow Him to be for her what no human could ever be.
It’s been through her example, as well as some of my own unwanted experiences, that I have come to realize that who we become, either good or bad, is directly related to what has been withheld from us and how we choose to react to that “lack.”
The very word single indicates a lack of a romantic partner. It’s easy to become bitter and even angry at God for not giving us what He so easily could, and what He created our bodies and very beings to long for.
But He sees a bigger purpose that He wants to accomplish. It’s something infinitely more precious than that which we lack. He longs to provide all the love, satisfaction, purpose, significance — all that we need and long for — in order for us to become the complete, whole people He meant for us to be. It is when we get our focus off the here and now, the “lack” in our lives, that we can begin to become those people, and life can take on a meaning we never dreamed of possessing.
You may be hearing me to say that God has withheld marriage from us in order to make us more complete. But I’m not saying that at all. Lack of a marriage partner is only one type of “lack”. There are many, many others. Margaret, whom I referred to earlier, is married, and it was in that situation that she experienced a lack that drove her to her Heavenly Father’s arms.
When we respond to God in this way as Margaret did, the “lack” becomes not a lack at all but an opportunity to gain something greater. Let those disappointments become opportunities, and that emptiness become fullness. God longs to do that for us if we let Him.