SINGLED OUT OR CHOSEN TO WORSHIP?
Let’s begin with a rhetorical question: As a “single mom” have you ever felt “singled out”? In the midst of loss, upheaval, and the complete overthrow of life the way it once was or the way you thought it would, be has the question: ”Why me?” or “Why my kids?” ever crossed your mind? In my particular case, as I watched a 10 year old marriage go from a comatose state to it’s final breath, I had a surreal sense that in the mercy of God, my children and I were being “singled out,” “called out” and in some strange way “chosen.”
With the Word of God as a backdrop, deep down inside I believed that if my boys and I were eating “the bread of adversity,” like the Biblical accounts of so many others, surely it couldn’t all just be in vain. Nevertheless, the question “Why me?” waited at the door of my mind for me to open, and allow its invasion of accusation, condemnation, guilt and shame to walk right in, and take a seat.
There are perhaps as many ways to approach the question “Why me?” as there are possible answers. I can’t answer your “Why?” any more than I could my own, but my prayer is that this blog will connect (or reconnect) your heart with that of your Heavenly Father, and His “big picture” purpose for your pain and suffering. As single mom’s we have indeed been “singled out”, but the grace to connect, and stay connected with the redemptive, eternal plan of God was, for me, the difference between joy and depression, hope and utter despair, faith and unbelief. Let’s take a look at a few others who were also “singled out” to see what God’s redemptive purpose was for them.
Abraham was chosen, and “singled out” from among the idolaters in his society. The first test of Abraham’s love for God was his willingness to leave all and go with God. “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1)
God’s purpose for Abraham and the Jews was to have a people set apart for Himself so that He might have true worship in the earth until His Son returns. Where there is “true” worship, there can be no worship of idols.
Likewise, Ruth was “singled out” from among the idolaters of her society in Moab. As Ruth chose to follow her bereaved mother-in-law, Naomi, back to the land of Israel, and join herself to the God of Israel, she was grafted into His master plan of uniting Jew and Gentile which gave birth to the royal line of King David, leading to the first coming of the Messiah, Yeshua.
In Ruth 1:15 Naomi says to Ruth “Look at your sister-in-law. She has returned to live with her people and to worship her gods; go and follow her.” But Ruth replies “…your God will be my God.” Her willingness to leave all behind in order to follow the Living God takes her from emptiness to vindication to redemption. Her very life becomes worship unto God, because her heart was connected to the truth of God as her Redeemer.
In the summer of 2013, I answered the call to “Go from your country, your people…to the land I will show you.” Sure, moving to an underdeveloped country with God as my sole supporter, to help establish a House of Prayer meant letting go of everything familiar. I knew this would bring with it many challenges. What I didn’t know was that there was an idol among us that we weren’t aware of: ME! I wasn’t aware that my sons “worshipped” an “image” of me as the organized-responsible-make things work-make things happen-problem solving-full-time working-money earning-has it all together with dinner on the table mom. However, the day one son asked the rhetorical question: “Do you realize you make less than the average Dominican?,” I suddenly realized I had been “dethroned.” And if feeling like I’d just lost the respect and admiration of my sons I’d so treasured up until that point wasn’t enough, I then realized I had “worshipped” the fact that they worshipped me! So The Eternal One, in His infinite wisdom “called us out” of our land of idolatry, and stripped us of the “false or incomplete perceptions” we had of each other, that we might worship Him, and Him alone.
“Leave all” is for all
In some way God designs a “leave all” experience for all those He loves. We tend to apply God’s command to “Go from your country…” to missionaries or others who are moving geographically. But the command God gave to Abraham is much the same for each of us. He calls us “out of darkness into His marvelous light” by using the circumstances of our lives to cause our natural affections to come into submission to His divine grace. He has reserved you and your children for Himself, that your lives would be worship unto Him, developing trust and obedience so that when Yeshua returns, the faith He is looking for on the earth will be found in you!
A life of worship
As we submit to His leadership and allow Him to bring us out of “the land of our idolatry”, we reflect and share in His divine nature more and more. “Worship “in truth” connects the heart or spirit of worship with the truth about God and his work of redemption. David understood the importance of worshiping in truth when he wrote, “Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear [i.e., worship] your name” (Psalm 86:11) (Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary)
God clearly states why He “singled out” the Jews, and delivered them from idolatrous Egypt when He says: “Let my people go, so that they may worship me.” If you’re a “single mom”, you’ve been “singled out.” If you’ve been “singled out”, rest assured He has a divine plan to make your life one of worship unto Him. “Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (1 Corinthians 15:50)
No matter how desolate the place you’ve come out of has been or how empty life may sometimes seem, as you read this I pray the Holy Spirit will cause HOPE to arise in your heart, that you will embrace God’s eternal perspective for your life, and like Abraham and Ruth you will allow your heart to connect again and again with your Redeemer God, and the truth of His plan of redemption for you and your children. In Yeshua’s Name, Amen.