We presume that we would be ready for battle if confronted with a great crisis, but it is not the crisis that builds something within us— it simply reveals what we are made of already. Do you find yourself saying, "If God calls me to battle, of course I will rise to the occasion"? Yet you won’t rise to the occasion unless you have done so on God’s training ground. If you are not doing the task that is closest to you now, which God has engineered into your life, when the crisis comes, instead of being fit for battle, you will be revealed as being unfit. Crises always reveal a person’s true character. -- Oswald Chambers
A couple of months ago, I met with one of my Pastors. I went, ostensibly to discuss a particular issue of conflict/struggle I was having, but we wound up talking about my singleness.
I have come to see that pretty much every area of conflict or struggle in my life is somehow connected to my un-met desire for marriage and family.
At one point in our talk, he asked, "If the Lord told you today that His will for you was lifelong singleness, would you be ok with that?" Before the sentence was completely out of his mouth, I was already in tears and I very honestly answered "No." Even today, if I were asked the same question, my response would be the same. "Lifelong singleness" sounds like a death sentence to me. It is the worst of all possible options in my mind. I could think of 10 other "tragedies" I'd rather befall me than to remain as I am now.
In that meeting, I followed my answer up with "But I have to believe that the Lord won't just drop that on me without preparing my heart to submit, first. I have to believe He would make me ready to hear and accept that without it just destroying me."
Mr. Chambers would tell me that it wouldn't be some supernatural intervention, switch-flip that prepares my heart for God's Will (whether that be in line with my desires or not) but how I live my life today, and tomorrow and the next day. God's work is often done in what appears the mundane. The Cross was preceeded by 3 years of ministry and 30 years of obscurity. The Savior was birthed in a stable and entrusted to a teenager and her carpenter husband. But each unspectacular bit led up to the resurrection and Christ being seen as Savior of the world. The "crisis" of the Cross revealed the true character of the lowly Nazarene.
I'm not confident that, were a crisis to come to my life now, my character would be Christ-like. But I am confident that it can be so, that His strength is made perfect in weakness, that He is in the business of perfecting His saints and that He promises all grace and all sufficiency in all things at all times. I am also confident that though I am unfaithful, He never is and though my love waxes and wanes, His is from everlasting to everlasting...and for that, I am very grateful.