One sunny summer day, my sisters’ and I had spent the afternoon shopping. Our hands were filled with bags as we were getting in our car. My oldest sister was driving and had just gotten behind the wheel. My middle sister, the most notable shopaholic among us, was finagling bags to try and open the passenger-side door. Out of nowhere, a complete stranger approached her. He offered to help my sister, and with her permission, he opened the door, and then closed it after she was seated. Our mouths were agape as we watched him very gentlemanly assist her, and then wish us all a good afternoon. We were like, “What just happened?” Although this kindness occurred quite a number of years ago, the impact of it strikes me even today.
Whenever I mention this occurrence to others, particularly women, the comments range from, “You’ll never see that happening today…” to “Hope your bags were intact.” Isn’t it something that in the face of such a simple and beautiful act of kindness, many of us suspect the worse? It’s sad, because as daughters of our Heavenly Father, it is His desire that such kindnesses are heaped on us every day of our lives. Many of us have gone through such heartbreak and disrespect from prior relationships that we no longer expect this kind of chivalry from a man, and some of us have never experienced it to any significant degree.
And of course, there are some that ask if we ever saw him again. We didn’t, but it was enough to know that such a man exists, and he’s not the only one of his kind. I’m reminded of the record in the Old Testament, when Elijah complained to God that there were so few within His people, the children of Israel, that were faithful to God’s covenant. Elijah was in deep despair over their sinful behavior and betrayal. He knew the tremendous blessings that God had given them, and they repaid God’s kindness and grace with arrogance and sin. Elijah was weary of their shenanigans, and he tried to use their disobedience as an excuse to throw his hands up and retreat. He didn’t want to be bothered with them anymore and thought they were a useless cause. Many of God’s people had forsaken Him, and Elijah could hardly stomach seeing them ruin and run down things that they should have held sacred in their hearts and minds.
Elijah complained to God in 1Kings 19:14(NLT), “I have zealously served the LORD God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” Many of us can relate somewhat to how Elijah felt. If you’ve been traveling in the ‘single’s lane’ a while, it can feel very much like no one truly understands what you’re about. They can’t match your capacity to love and don’t have the depth to walk with you through life. You might feel like Elijah, that the bottom of the barrow is what’s left, and there’s no sea of which a treasure can be found.
God told Elijah in 1Kings 19:18 that He had preserved 7,000 of His people that had not bowed to the idol, baal, or served him. Elijah made an incorrect assumption that underestimated God’s power, intelligence, and provision. Many single believers have done the same thing. God doesn’t punish us when we think this way, He helps us, but will we allow ourselves to be helped? 2Chronicles 16:9(NLT) says, “The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” He’s searching the entire earth, looking for a certain characteristic in our hearts, and it is the humility to trust His Word and become fully committed to our relationships with Him. When we do this, we will no longer doubt His willingness or ability to bless us.
When we allow ourselves to believe that God has not provided for us in the way His Word says He has, we not only run the risk of not pleasing God, but we are injuring our faith. We stop it from performing because it isn’t mixed with our believing. The most faithful in God are often hidden, like the gentleman who came out of nowhere to inspire our faith and to be a conduit of God’s love. God knows those that belong to Him, and He knows exactly where they are. He sees what we cannot see, and we should never underestimate His power, love, and provision. When our faith is firmly anchored in His goodness, God will strengthen our hearts. Never allow negativity to cause you to underestimate what God can and will do for your life. He will exceed your expectations, and a beautiful blessing might occur when you least expect it. ■
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
“When You Least Expect It”, written for findchristianman.wordpress.com. Copyright©2022. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord.