This quote from George MacDonald (have I mentioned, like a million times already, how much I LOVE him???!!!) is one I’ve wanted to share since I started this blog… so – I don’t procrastinate or anything… really.I never knew of any interference on the part of a wicked fairy that did not turn out a good thing in the end. What a good thing, for instance, it was that one princess should sleep for a hundred years! Was she not saved from all the plague of young men who were not worthy of her? And did she not come awake exactly at the right moment when the right prince kissed her? For my part, I cannot help wishing a good many girls would sleep till just the same fate overtook them. It would be happier for them and more agreeable to their friends. (At the Back of the North Wind, George MacDonald)
Would you believe that I have often prayed that God would keep me hidden until the right man came along? (Who prays that?! I’m so odd.) Sometimes He’s honored that prayer more than I would have liked. And the few times I wasn’t “hidden”, all said and done, looking back, I usually think it would have been better if I had been – whether it was for my sake or for someone else’s…
So here I am, as a single woman, still agreeing with George on this one – that it would be ideal to be “asleep” – spared the unworthy suitors (whether they be annoyance or temptation) – and to only awaken at the right moment, for the right man. It’s just that sometimes I have to remind myself of this when it seems I’ve been sleeping for far too long.
Do you feel like you’ve been asleep for a hundred years too? Be patient. You want Isaac, not Ishmael (thanks Missy for that little phrase!). (Sorry – if you’re not up on Old Testament patriarchs, that reference will be lost on you…oh wait – it doesn’t have to be! Here’s Missy’s post where she explains that reference – read it; it’s great!)
Do you want to rail at the wicked fairy for some cruel spell that has made you inaccessible for some reason or another? Don’t worry – as George said, he never once saw that turn out to be a bad thing in the end. God is the God of “insteads”. He reverses fortunes. He takes what was intended to harm you and uses it for good (Genesis 50:20) – He gives you the “instead”. Besides, you “know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 – emphasis added), so take heart…and rest peacefully! God is at work – sparing you the unworthy, and preparing to awaken you when it pleases.
Your job is to rest. In fact, you are commanded to enter into his rest by faith (see Hebrews 4). As I’m writing this, Song of Solomon 2:7 which I do so love, “Do not arouse or awaken love until it pleases,” comes to mind and hits me afresh. Don’t awaken–don’t awaken love. Just rest. Trust God to awaken your heart at the right time. You just let your tender little heart enter into His rest, by faith in His good will towards you. He’ll awaken you when it pleases.
StaceyP.S. If you want to read more of the “insteads” – try Isaiah 61!