‘I am delighting myself in the Lord, and he is giving me the desires of my heart.’ That is not exactly what it says in the Bible, but it is my response of faith to David’s words in Psalm 37:4, ‘Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart,’ and I am doing what God told Joshua to do, to have God’s word in my mouth and in my heart.
It is many years ago since I learned the importance of speaking out these words of faith and my life was transformed, but it was a simple question from a friend that caused me to look back, to remember and to do some revision too. And so, here I am, sharing with you.
‘You don’t mind living alone, do you?’ was the question. ‘No’ I assured her. ‘I am content.’
Recently widowed, she could not accept that she was meant to spend the rest of her life alone. I have another friend, gregarious by nature, who finds great suffering in her singleness. So is it just the way I am made that I find contentment in my single state?
Memory takes me back to the remote highlands of New Guinea. I had always lived with my parents, and if they were away I would stay with my sister. I was expecting Mr Right, for God was calling me to the mission field and I was sure he would not expect me to go alone. Had he not given me assurance that he would bring someone into my life?
In the end I set out, yes, alone, but sure I would meet someone out there. When John, from New Zealand, came to our remote mission station it seemed like a fairy tale romance, but when he walked, or flew out of my life three months later I was left, broken hearted and desolate.
It was then that I was challenged by God, to have his word in my mouth; not to say, ‘Why won’t you heal me?’ but ‘You are the Lord who is healing me,’ and especially these wonderful words, ‘I am delighting myself in the Lord and he is giving me the desires of my heart.’
I spoke them in faith and in simple obedience, and little by little I found a joy and contentment in my circumstances so that when, a couple of years later, a colleague came, all aglow, to announce her engagement, I was not only delighted for her, but I realised that her joy was not any greater than my own in my present circumstances.
God was giving me the desires of my heart as I worked amongst the Enga people, known now as the ‘little children’s mother.’
It was another ten years before, my work abroad completed, God gave me a wonderful husband. I had 22 fruitful and joyful years with Joel before he preceded me to heaven and once more I am returned to walking alone.
I am so thankful that I had learned to be content as a singleton, for if we are looking to a husband to make our lives complete this will put a terrible strain on a marriage.
But it is not easy to be alone, and the older we get the more it seems we are in need of company. After all, it was our Creator himself who said, ‘it is not good for man to be alone.’
But I’ve got my very special verse, and yes, I still have need to speak it out. I am delighting myself in the Lord and he is giving me the desires of my heart.’ In every need I am proving God, and I believe I have a very special privilege to pray for and sympathise with and encourage those who are finding it hard to walk this path of singleness.