The unmarried prodigal daughter
28 and still single!? [eltdf_dropcaps type=”normal” color=”” background_color=””]T[/eltdf_dropcaps]hat tipped me over the edge. I began what I thought was a justified protest. “After all the serving I’ve done for You Lord, I’m still unmarried? To add insult injury, may I point out the calibre of the ladies who are getting married – I don’t see them trying to serve You like I am!”
I was out. I was not going to endure this injustice passively. So, I followed the well-trodden path to the distant country. This journey was first made popular by the prodigal son many moons ago and has since seen many a pilgrim detour there. At least I thought, in the distant country, I don’t have to listen and obey. I don’t have to feel disappointed by God; I can take control of the situation myself and be in charge of my own destiny. It sounded good. The rebellion in my heart had reached boiling point, propelling me faster into this notorious land of the wayward pilgrim.
It felt liberating! I could do whatever I wanted and no one could tell me anything because I just didn’t care! (Okay, I still cared, but only a little). However, the euphoria didn’t last long. Once the emotional high wore off, I looked around the distant country and noted what a wasteland it truly was. It was dead, nothing grew there. That shouldn’t have surprised me though, after all, the Lord is the Author of life. Without the Lord, the distant country could not produce life and it remained barren. I realised then that I couldn’t run away from God and expect to find good things; He alone is the sole provider of all good things. I needed to run back to Him!
Nope. I would make this work. I had run away from God for a purpose and I wasn’t about to go back to Him. Yet, like Jonah, as I sat there sulking at my imagined insults, He grew me a tree, providing me with shade in my wilderness; an unexpected act of kindness. My soul was tired and hungry, like Elijah the Lord saw to the needs of my weary soul. I had tried to escape this God in the distant country because I felt He was a harsh task master, He’d forgotten about me, He was unfair, unkind, indifferent! In reality these were profane thoughts. If anything, the Lord’s wrath should have been heavy upon me and yet He showed me kindness.
The Lord’s tender dealings with me took me by surprise… but why was His tenderness surprising? Why would God’s goodness and compassion astonish me? Wasn’t this typical of God? Isn’t He the same God, who, while we were still sinners sent Christ to die for us? I saw that God’s kindness and love towards me did not wane because of my sin. That truly was my undoing! My acceptance of the Lord’s love for me despite my sinfulness lead me out of the distant country and back onto the Calvary road.
Kyle Idleman says in his book Aha, the God Moment that Changes Everything that people run away from a god of their own creation. [eltdf_blockquote text=”We believe untruths about God, lies that convince us He is not a God we should serve, misconceptions of the True Father. However, these lies are straight outta hell. The God of the bible is never who we think He is when we embark on the prodigal pilgrimage. ” title_tag=”h2″ width=””]In other words, the God we are running away from does not exist! I was essentially throwing a tantrum to a figment of my warped imagination – and what a tantrum at that!
I returned from the prodigal lands, disheartened at my fruitless pursuits and in awe at the mercy shown to me. I went and sat at my Father’s feet and laid my heart bare to Him. The Lord heard me, He got me. I was reminded that the heavenly Father delights over me in singing. I realized that I wasn’t necessarily created for a husband, but for Him. I discovered that He desired me; when He made the whole world, it pleased Him that I should exist. He deliberately fashioned me with my unique cocktail of strengths and weaknesses because He saw that it was good. I was wanted. It dawned on me that my prodigal pilgrimage didn’t happen just because I really wanted to be married. I just wanted to know that I – even I – was loved, adored and valued despite my flaws. That affirmation does not exist in the distant country. It doesn’t even perfectly exist in marriage. It was proven and exists solely at the cross.