HopeSoon it will be three years since I moved back to the Netherlands to study. I remember how I felt excited. One reason was that after more than a decade my Father had revived this old dream to study economics and business. But another  reason why I felt excited was that I hoped that this time, now that I had returned to my own country and people for at least a few years, I would maybe find someone to love and run with for the rest of my life. A comrade. One that exposes my selfishness and sharpens me like iron, yet whose closeness in covenant relation would give me a chance to learn greater heights of loving and being loved.

But it didn’t happen. And previous times when changes were coming it didn’t happen either. Nor did it happen after living here for some years. All that seems to happen is more waiting, and more hope deferred. I’ve moved often and travelled often, yet still almost every time when I see a change coming or am about to travel there is this thought, somewhere, ‘As I’ll meet new people, will it be this time?’

I’m writing this because I’m sure I’m not the only not-yet-married person that goes through this. I want to write to remind us to keep looking up, looking out. We need to keep perspective to not become bitter and discouraged. Because that what it is, no matter what nice label you have given to these two familiar temptations.

Here’s two thoughts I’ve had in this regards. First, the One who ran ahead of us did this knowing He had to postpone His desires for a long time. Its been over 6,000 years since He met his Bride-to-be, born out of the furnace of His love, and then she betrayed Him. It’s been 2,000 years since He went back into darkness and hell to buy her back, without guarantees about her response. And its still not really done yet. He knows about waiting.

Second, without rationalizing my longing for intimacy, I do not want to place all my hopes on that when even greater things are certainly going to come. Life is about more than marriage, a love that goes even beyond that. Remember how worth the wait will be. We will know each other so close that in the world to come there won’t even be husband and wife, as the bonds of love will be closer and deeper and more intimate than any covenant between two people can be in our current broken state. We need covenants to allow us to go as deep and high as possible. This exclusive two-person covenantal relationship provision is the closest we can get to resembling Christ’s love for us. But there is still so much more to discover. Imagine a place where love is so pure, deep, wide and high that covenantal love is possible between billions of creatures and their Creator! Oh, the wisdom, the greatness of who You are! How unthinkable are the things you have in store for us!

I regularly remind my Father of how great I think it would be if I were to have those cute little kids, or teenagers to intensely experience life with, or grown-up children to walk with side by side. I remind Him of what my age will be before I can even have a 20 year old. Let alone grandchildren.

Or I remind Him how much more energized and productive and loving I could live my life if I were not so often alone, battling discouragement, lies and sin that creeps in during those times and makes things even worse. Anyone else relates?

But once in a while all He whispers is: ‘I know. Trust Me. I love you. I’m proud of you.’

These few internship years of preparation in the land of the dying are so worth it compared to the ages of fullness that are coming in the land of the eternal living.  Why would I cling to one of the best fleeting things God has for us when He has already given even better things that will never pass?

Remember. Trust. Lean. Choose to be thankful at all times. Yes, guard that heart of yours, and you will see those wellsprings of life not being blocked, but freely released, merging with the streams of living water from the Eternal One. Joy will come in the morning, once you’ve survived another night. You will reap with joy. Stay in that tension, as your keep asking your Father for that good gift of a companion, but don’t let your heart die in the waiting. You are among the world’s most privileged – and all that is coming from your loving Father is so extravagant that it often takes a few years, yes, even centuries, to unfold.

Tags: , This post is also available in: Dutch

4 Responses to “Hope”

  1. On June 21, 2013 at 12:10 Heleen responded with... #

    Hoi Johan, ik werd helemaal blij omdat ik las dat je post ook in het ‘dutch’ te lezen was maar de link werkt niet. Blijft gewoon in Engels staan. (nu zelf maar kopy en plak dan kom ik er ook…)
    Maar ik laat het je toch ff weten.

    Heleen de Wit

    • On June 21, 2013 at 13:28 johan responded with... #

      Hoi Heleen,

      De link werkt wel, maar ik heb deze post niet vertaald – geen tijd :) . Daardoor komt hij zowel op de Nederlandse als Engelstalige blog dan in het Engels tevoorschijn. Sorry!
      Bedankt dat je even reageert.



  2. On July 26, 2013 at 03:35 Clementine Cuppen responded with... #

    Hi Johan, I just took a little time to read a bit in your website-thank you for inviting me to do so by the way.
    Reading this post I would like to add my wonderment to yours: I have two daughters who each have quite a few friends who all wonder the same thing. ‘Where is my special someone God?’ Every single one of them is precious, intelligent, well educated, capable, promising to be great wives and mothers, love Jesus, love to minister in the Holy Spirit…what oh what is wrong with ‘me’ they wonder. I should add that my youngest daughter is quite happy being single since she has such big dreams to go after she feels no man would be willing to share in. It is not that there are no men, or even good men, but they seem to be looking for Barbie with a halo. Or a traditional wife, who will bring them their slippers when they come home from work and worship them perhaps a little before they would worship God. None of the young women I know fit that bill, really.
    Another problem is that for some crazy reason all of a sudden not a few of the otherwise wonderful men suddenly decide to ‘come out of the closet’ and declare that God in His almighty grace is ok with them being ‘gay’. Quite a few of those became so in Bible College so they have no excuse to not know His Word.
    So there you are on your side of the world, and here they are on this side all having the same cry of the heart. I find that sad. For all of you.
    Almost every day I ask God to connect these girls with someone like you, as far as I can tell from your stories you are pretty much perfect. I hope that gave you a good laugh! But no, I really do, also because I hurt over their loneliness for a mate as you describe.
    I just thought you should know you are not alone in this respect; it seems to be a world wide problem. My youngest daughter went to Redding, CA.USA to study at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry and made many friends, men and women of such high spiritual and moral caliber, yet so many cannot seem to click with one although they would love to be married. So when you figure out what the problem is, let me know :)
    Meanwhile hang in there and keep praising the Lord.


    • On November 21, 2013 at 22:14 Johan responded with... #

      Hi Clementine,

      Its been a while since you posted this. Thank you for sharing. There is a sadness to the many singles waiting for change. At the same time, I find there’s a beauty in the opportunity to wrestle it through with the Lord and gain eternal treasures beyond the riches of a relationship.
      Blessings to you and your family!