We have read tales of lovers going to great extremes to prove the authenticity of their bonds. Shakespeare has captured the hearts of both genders, transcending generational gaps with plays erupting with passion. Who can question the power that love has on men and women, little boys and little girls? Barbie has Ken, Bonnie had Clyde, and Romeo had Juliet. But, waiting behind the curtains is One whose love has existed even before time, One whose love has remained the unread words of the only poet that has truly captured the depth of love. He is in fact love personified.
The stage lights are dimmed and the curtains go down; still He awaits His loved one’s entrance. He abandoned the splendour of His title in pursuit of the woman of His dreams; still He is rejected. She is still blindly awaiting the grand entrance of her knight-in-shining-armour. He has waited patiently for centuries. Will she emerge and accept the sacrifice He has so lovingly made, or will she continue rummaging through the counterfeits with a dimmed countenance, searching for lovers who fail to meet her needs? She has sought deeply, using only the tear-stained draft of counterfeits as her compass. A “what not to look for” list is all she has.
After witnessing others play the leading roles in the lives of men we have come to know and love, or being courageous enough to exit and pass on the mantle to another, we need to be comforted. Strength and healing reside in the bosom of a leading man we often neglect, and the role of His beautiful counterpart requires a heart willing to rest in submission to His will. If you are a woman who has been longing to play the role of Juliet, a woman who has trod the paths of a broken heart, or one who has ever had to learn how to let go, then God wants to be to you what others could not. You can finally look undauntedly in the face of loneliness and faithfully proclaim, “I am not alone!”
God has set the foundation of a law that can never be changed, and even if we choose to disobey, this law still stands and His sovereignty denounces all counterfeits – “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3 and Deuteronomy 5:7). God rightly declared it; He is a jealous God (Deuteronomy 6:15). He will not be replaced, neither by man, nor anything else (Isaiah 42:8). And why would we want to try to replace Him? He has played the role of Romeo better than anyone else. In fact, before Romeo even entered the mind of Shakespeare, Jesus was already playing the role of the impassioned lover, giving all He had for His desired one to win her love, so much so that He was willing to pay the penalty for our sins. If you think I am romanticizing God, I am. He is romantic! His love for us is never dependent on our response to Him. He overflows with passion for His brides and the ones He desires to court.
The desire for companionship is natural, for we were designed to relate, but we often forget one vital fact: the first point of contact, companionship or fellowship we ever experienced was with God. He knew us before we came to be. Before we were even thought of, He knew us (Psalm 139:13 - 14). His hands were the first hands to caress us. Our hidden parts are all known by Him (Psalm 139:15 - 16), so there is no other person who can take the place of that first companion. His desire is to not only know us, but to also be known by us. We must first play the starring role with the Eternal leading man, who will then allow us the opportunity to experience other companions.
Sadly, most of us are driven by our desire for companionship. The want for something physical is not sinful, but when the desire is self-centred, it is dangerous. Do not pursue something you do not understand! Marriage is not just about you and your desires. It is about ministry as much as it is about love. Are you so deeply rooted in God that you will understand how to treat the bonds of marriage? Your ministry to God will reflect in your ministry to your husband. Have you been faithful to God? A married woman’s ministry is to her husband, but the centre is God. A single woman’s ministry is to God; He has betrothed her (1 Corinthians 7:34). Have you been satisfying the desires of God, or has your relationship with Him been about fulfilling your desires? Have you even taken the time to just ask what He would like you to do for Him? Do not expend too much energy trying to gratify what your physical body wants or ‘needs’. Spend your time in communion with the only Lover that can love you out of your distress. Can He trust you to remain faithful to Him after He has given you away? If your lack of a husband has disrupted your fellowship with God, you have missed the beauty of being single. We learn to become exemplary wives during our singleness. Do not be so focused on your wants that you miss the lessons.
God expects us to actively play the role of Juliet, not with dragging feet, but with exuberance, as we are being crowned the star. Even when the audience disappears, we can continue, because we have been reciting our lines in the secret place with Him long before. I am still learning to play the starring role and not quiver when the stage lights come on and faces stare anxiously at me. I have at times secretly yearned to replace my loving partner with something more tangible, but that is when I realized that I must not only play the role well, but should also live the part. I should be so engulfed in the character of the virtuous bride of God that I will not only recite the lines, but also allow them to become a part of me. They must take root and blossom. When I reread my lines, I realized I am not expected to just recite what I’ve read in the love letters from the past, but I’m expected to add my personal touch to every word. My passion for Him must dot every “i” and cross every “t”. Every sentence should be punctuated with untainted reverence for my Leading Lover. That kind of chemistry only comes from the foreknowledge of the thoughts He has toward me. You cannot play the role well if you don’t know what is expected of you.
God is not one that delights in our discomfort. He does not enjoy that you are sad at nights, and that you look longingly at every couple you see. He doesn’t sit on the throne of your heart rejoicing that you feel lonely, but He doesn’t want to give you something that you probably still do not know the purpose of. He can’t allow you to step into a position that you still do not understand, for you may ruin it. Where He may be patient, a man may not be. He will sit patiently, while you rummage through your mind, trying to find the right words to communicate about the old hurts that you still try to confess. With gentle hands, He will carefully anoint the bruises that still hurt when you touch them. Maybe if you were to enter a relationship at this stage of your life, your crutches would not be able to carry you.
It is painful to watch somebody you love run into the arms of somebody else, but it is far worse when you watch them run into arms that will only hurt them. If you have given up your part as Juliet because you ‘feel’ that God is not real enough, then you have made a mistake. Your desire has been controlling you, and it is only safe to warn you that those hands that caress you without knowing you are more detrimental than you realize. If you have sought to fill that space in your bed with somebody who does not know you, you have taken a dose of poison. Why kill yourself when He has already paid the price? If you are trying to medicate your loneliness with the empty words of somebody who is not intimate with your heart, you are consuming a deadly potion that will slowly destroy you. I have played the part. The script has written a death sentence on your emotions and your judgement. Allow God to be the man of your dreams. He knows you, He formed your body, and He blew life into you.
You may be asking, “How can I rest in waiting when I’m lonely?” I’ve asked myself that question many times. But, could you handle resting when you have a companion and still feel alone? Successful relationships require a deep level of intimacy that comes through honesty. If you struggle to admit to yourself that you are hurting, you are not ready, and if you’re seeking a companion to replace something you have lost, you do not want a relationship, but a substitute. How will you relate honestly to another person when your words are rooted in denial? A man cannot discern your thoughts the way Jesus can. In fact, he cannot discern them unless Jesus allows him to. Jesus is the only One Who can look into the deep recesses of your heart and see the past hurts, the bruises, the infected wounds, and the fear of never being whole again. And Jesus is the only remedy for healing.
There are times when I am driven by my desire to hear the words “I love you”. That is the time when God desires to whisper lovingly into my ears, and tell me of the loving way He looks at me in the morning. All His love songs are in His word. The sweet little notes He has left for you to read in the morning before you rush off to work, and reminisce on throughout the day are in His book dedicated to you. His desire for you far outweighs your longing for Him, and He has carefully written words of affection to you – His betrothed.
There comes a time in every believer’s life when promise kisses purpose. God is faithful. He never asks us to wait unless we are being prepared to be able to stand with open arms and welcome whatever or whomever He has promised us. We have to be taught how to lovingly embrace and maintain our gifts of promise. We cannot attempt to consult a faulty past or track record in order to know or maintain our promise. God is good and He knows that if we receive something we are not prepared for, we will destroy it. How can you effectively care for something you do not understand?
What has God promised you? Remember that no matter how long it takes, every day is like a breath to God and His timing is always perfect. If there is a promise, there has to be a season of waiting. No child is conceived and birthed in one day. The waiting season is your time to learn to adjust and mature. This is the season when you learn what it means to sit at the feet of Jesus. This is the season when you learn to become the promise. If He has promised you someone, then chances are that someone is waiting for you as well. You have to become that which He has promised. Remember God speaks to you and sees you from the future. If you were created to be a bride, despite your current position, He speaks to you as a bride and expects you to learn from Him how to function as a bride, and He will use that very promise to mould you. If it’s a position, then that position will wait until you have done what is required of you to receive it. He never promises and fails to prepare. While you wait you rest, and while you rest you work. It seems paradoxical, but resting requires surrendering to Him, and your work entails doing the will of God. You must submit to His requests; this is where you learn to trust. Fulfil the call of God. Get busy fulfilling His desires. Your work requires doing whatever He asks of you. Your question to your First Love – Jesus - should always be “what can I do for You today?” Then, you diligently set out to accomplish His every desire. There is no other way to be prepared for whatever promise awaits you.
Can you forget your desires and attempt to fulfil your calling to play the role of loving wife to God? Love requires a sacrifice, and He has already made His, and continues to make it daily. He steps back and allows you consume His thoughts. He stands on stage alone and the audience awaits the grand entrance of the woman about whom He speaks so lovingly, but His Juliet stands behind the curtain, waiting to play the part with someone else. You still sit with mascara-stained teardrops, waiting to be noticed, and fail to see that you are being admired by someone far greater than any man you will ever meet. Learn to appreciate the arms that hold you even when you can’t admit that you want to be held. This story ends the way you want it to. You can either run with open arms to embrace the One who surpasses all your dreams, or you can sit quietly behind the curtain waiting on somebody who has possibly moved on with his life, or doesn’t even know how to appreciate you, while your true love awaits your entrance. Who will hold you while you wait? God’s arms are the only ones strong enough to.
Romans 5:8 – But God showed how much he loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful.
Isaiah 40:31 - But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.
Hosea 2:16 & 19-20 – “In that day," declares the LORD, "you will call Me 'my husband'; you will no longer call Me 'my master… I will accept you as My wife forever, and instead of a bride price I will give you justice, fairness, love, kindness, and faithfulness. Then you will truly know who I am.”
Isaiah 54: 4 -6 – Don't be afraid or ashamed and don't be discouraged. You won't be disappointed. Forget how sinful you were when you were young; stop feeling ashamed for being left a widow. The LORD All-Powerful, the Holy God of Israel, rules all the earth. He is your Creator and husband, and He will rescue you. You were like a young wife, brokenhearted and crying because her husband had divorced her. But the LORD your God says, "I am taking you back!
Psalm 33: 4 - For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.
Roxann M. Morgan