So there was a good man in my life for a brief season and then now he’s not really. But to be clear, it’s not because he turned into a bad man or because of anything that he or I did…no, simply because of my new least favorite word: logistics. (For the record: logistics are dumb. I hate logistics.)
But as I was somewhat crying myself to sleep (whatever) the night that we ended things and as I was about to start replaying conversations and imagined scenarios, I reached for my Bible. (Thank God I did that…that’s sadly not always my go-to response when I’m hurting.) And I went to the Psalms and asked God for a verse.
And it is the oddest verse for this situation, but I took it.
“…no good thing will He withhold…” (Psalm 84:11)
And I said that over and over to myself as I fell asleep, and as I woke up in the middle of the night all groggy and remembering, oh right…we’re over…no good thing will He withhold, I kept telling myself.
My life from my perspective is a life filled with good things that God in his abundance did not withhold. But it is also lacking, from my perspective, many, many good things that He did and does. (This good man feels like a good thing that He is withholding, if I can be honest.)
But I believe God’s word is true.
Which means that when Scripture says “no good thing will He withhold”, it must really mean that no good thing will He withhold.
Which means, what I think is a good thing being withheld from me – like, for instance, this man in this time of our lives – must not be, from God’s perspective right now, a good thing.
I also think it means that God really is the only one who knows what a good thing truly is. If we’re honest with ourselves as we look back on our lives, we can probably admit that we’re grateful certain prayers and longings of ours didn’t come to pass.
But then…if we’re still in honest mode…there are things that we have prayed for and longed for for a very long time that seem truly good, in our best interest, godly even, that we are just not being given. And that can leave you aching. And leave you questioning. And make you feel forgotten or even, intentionally hurt by a supposed all-loving God. (To be clear, He is an all-loving God, no matter our circumstances.)
In this too-close-to-the-situation-to-be-able-to-see-clearly-quite-yet season, I have no idea how “no good thing will He withhold” applies to my sadness over this loss. I’m okay with that. I don’t need to know today. I just need to hold onto it, because that’s what God gave me in that quiet, hurting moment, and so I’m choosing to trust in it. Even if I have no idea what it means. And for today, that’s really all I can do.
Thank you for sharing this and so many other helpful things for us hurting hearts out here. I keep thinking when I read about this situation that maybe this man was just meant to prepare you and open your eyes to possibilities that you had not thought of before….and that the right man that God has for you will come later on. Or, it is just not the right time for This one. Either way….yes I believe those words are definitely from Him to you and they are very hopeful and life giving words! I love your advice to take such things to heart and repeat them to yourself….very much needed. Thank you, prayers for you Elizabeth! You are such a blessing you don’t even know!
I often remind myself of that verse – it’s one that tests my ability to trust in God – that HE knows what is good for me. It’s a tough one! I’m sorry for your hurting heart. Hope deferred makes us sick! sigh, letting go and letting God place into our hands whatever HE sees fit is so challenging. I wish we could meet up for coffee/tea and hugs…
FYI – when my Mr. Wonderful pushed ‘pause’ on our relationship, I was so devastated, but held onto this verse and trust that God would provide exactly what was best for me and for my children, even for him. I truly hold that my ability to let him go gave him the confidence to consider pursuing me and forced me to consider whether I was allowing this man to become the center of my world instead of God. It’s a trap into which I easily fall. I’m not saying this is what happens with you, just sharing some of my story. Time, patience and knowing each other much better provided the security and trust for us to get married more than a year and a half later. Even though I didn’t desire to wait, I know it was the good thing, especially for our children. I’m thinking of you and praying for that your heart is filled with Him.
This is a very reassuring post. I know it cannot be easy and I think having just discovered your website (freshly divorced, divorce judgement received today) it’s got the right balance of feeling, emotion and perspective on this roller coaster of divorce and it’s aftermath! I was brought up catholic and lost faith over the years. I don’t know why, but lately, re-exploring my faith and hearing passages such as the one you just quoted, not only offers comfort but also hope -having faith that we are part of God’s master plan – whatever roads we have to journey along, sometimes bumpy, with potholes (ouch!) and sometimes a smooth ride where it looks all clear ahead! That’s how I’m trying to look on any disappointments, which yes, happen to be from a dating perspective and as a new divorcee (!) going to give myself time to heal, find out more about me first before I fully embark on dating. Being newly single brings many challenges! Thank you for your sharing your recent hurt – that “logistics” word is easy to put out there by anyone. I guess we never know why someone doesn’t want we desire – I’m sure it’s painful, but as the comment earlier said, breathing space for us to think about the direction we are headed can in itself produce a miracle that we never expected.
Elisabeth, I love how the LORD heard you and then you listened and heard Him! I think that is an excellent word, “no good thing will He withhold!!! Isn’t that good to know?! Thank you for sharing your heart with us!
Oh my goodness. Thank you so much for this today. I have been so numb and unable to pick up my head having been totally bowled over this weekend by yet another unexpected turn in the road.. That is exactly what I needed. No good thing will He withhold. What an encouragement. What a wonderful promise. No good thing will He withhold. Thank you again for being willing to be so transparent.
Exactly what I needed to hear!
Very good….I love how you said “I chose”….I am loving that word more and more. It’s like it opens up the space for us when we choose, like it’s what then is put before us.
Thanks for your openness here during this season of your life, for it helps all of us gain perspective.
Amen, sister! Thank you for posting this. It made me cry (but not in a bad way). It’s very inspiring to hear you choosing to believe and trust God over and over. That is not easy to do! But it is what He asks of us. To trust Him, love Him, obey Him, and wait on Him.
God bless you and stay encouraged! This post really helped me today.
Your words really resonated with me. My “good man” put our relationship on pause (actually, he ended it. With a phone call. On April Fool’s Day. And hasn’t been able to face me or speak to me since.), I think, because of his own brokenness and insecurity over whether a relationship so God-given and abundantly blessed could be real and even if it was real, could it really last forever?? God has shown me marvelous things about how I needed to grow, and how that man I love needs to be re-broken and healed in Christ’s love, before he can receive my love. When well-meaning friends shake their heads and say they just don’t want to see me waiting around for him, I tell them “I’m not waiting for him, I’m waiting for God.” All good things will be given, in His good timing. I want the man I love to really know the love of God, to be assured of His leading, and to KNOW how blessed we are. The only question is whether that man is the one who put us on pause, or someone entirely new. Looking forward to what our loving God delivers 🙂 hang in there – keep going to that Bible. It is a constant source of comfort, inspiration and hope. It is His love letter to us.
I’m so sorry, Michelle…that must be so painful. Yes, keep going to Jesus to let him put you back together. -Elisabeth