Being single is tough. I’m not gonna lie. All you married folks probably think it is bliss to not have someone around all the time, and I get that. I do. I relish my personal space.
However, after going through major surgery, I can assure you that nothing screams “Singleness stinks!” than not knowing who is going to take care of you when you literally cannot take care of yourself.
Singleness is tough in other ways, too. For example, there are first dates. Which are just plain awkward. And y’all know my discomfort of the inevitable DTRs.
Which brings me (sort-of) to the point of this post: Have you ever noticed that there is a fine line between being pursued and being stalked?
Perhaps an example will help.
If a guy you like gives you flowers or leaves sweet notes on your car in the mornings, it is endearing.
If a guy you do not like gives you flowers or leaves sweet notes on your car in the mornings, it is stalking.
See what I mean?
You’re either completely flattered or totally freaked out.
Today, I find myself – not being pursued by a guy (sadly) – but being pursued by God.
It started out endearing. (Doesn’t it always?) But now it’s just ridiculous.
After Wednesday’s God nod to just stay the course, I was speechless and in awe. It was so sweet for God to speak to me so specifically.
I even found it endearing on Thursday when my friends’ suggestions about what to say to someone left me unsettled, and God reminded me through Frances Chan’s book Forgotten God that “the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said” and “don’t worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at the time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit (Luke 12:12; Mark 13:11).”
However, things started to get a bit awkward when I was mourning my behavior at the grocery store on Friday where I might have growled at one of the many Grace Stretchers I encountered. I didn’t expect such a prompt answer from God when I prayed for Him to change my heart full of judgment to one full of compassion. But lo and behold that’s what I got when my bible study dealt with that very issue complete with a lovely promise from Ezekiel: “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh” (v. 17:19).
Feelings of endearment started to fade into discomfort on Saturday when I found myself envious of the way William Wallace looked at Murron in Braveheart, and moments later, I read a story about someone’s romanticization being interrupted by a not-so-glamourous request from her hubs. God’s lesson to her was the same to me: get caught up in the regular moments of life not in the ones that don’t exist.
Which brings us to the all-out stalking of today.
I shared some hard feelings with God this morning on the way to work. And frankly, I didn’t want to hear about his love, kindness, faithfulness, hope and forgiveness. In fact, I am doubting those very things, and I am perfectly okay with that. It is just one of those days where I want to pout because I’m not getting my way.
But God…well, God is still pursuing me. He is everywhere that I go. And it is starting to feel less endearing and more like stalking.
I said, “This is impossible. I want to give up” and found this staring me in the face.
Did you notice the date? God left it for me months ago on the desk of a lady I only met today. (Don’t you just love that God is sovereign even over someone flipping a calendar page?)
I prayed: “I want to know that You do, indeed, reward those who earnestly seek you,” and I stumbled across this on the internet while doing unrelated research:
I don’t know Linda, but I appreciate her thoughts from September 4, 2008. Even if I am a little creeped out by them.
I pleaded with God: “Do something! I don’t feel like you are doing anything!” and was met with my internet home page:
So, you can imagine my utter and totally surrender that the stalking would not stop when I cried out: “I need your help. Will you not come to my rescue?” and God shouted Psalm 121 from the pages of my bible study:
I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!
I’m wondering if this is what David felt like when he penned the words:
“I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there” (Psalm 139:7-8).
Indeed, David. Indeed.