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Setting Deadlines for God

As we celebrated the arrival of 2015, many of us set New Year’s resolutions — Christian singles included. These typically include striving to diet and eat better, join a gym, or make this the year to (finally) meet that special someone. In this digital era, this usually means through an online dating service. I co-founded for this purpose. Let me tell you how this may never have happened had God answered my prayers.

As Christians, we pray to God (or we ought to) for His guidance in His timing. Except, we often try to “help” God by going for what we want today rather than waiting on His timing.

My Prayer — And Deadline for God

It was 1995 and my second year of grad school. I was 27 and tired of being single. It was late-September, and I decided to pray with purpose and a goal: God was to introduce me to my mate by Dec. 31. I met a young lady from my church the next month, and we started dating. I told her about my prayer and that she could be “the one.” She was actually flattered! After dating for a few weeks, it became obvious that we weren’t a good fit — at all.

In early December, I met another young lady from my Campus for Christ club. We started dating. I told her about my prayer. She wasn’t so enthusiastic. We stopped seeing each other.

Well, I thought, God can work miracles, and I didn’t pray to be married by Dec. 31; I prayed that I’d meet my match by then. On New Year’s Eve at 9 p.m., I met this beautiful young lady at a house party. I was hooked. So was she. This time I didn’t talk about my prayer. She was studying on the West Coast, so we got to know each other via telnet text messaging (this was 1995, after all). In April, I moved out West to be near her.

Except, there were these problems cropping up. We would argue about small things and big. But we did have a lot in common. Then we’d fight again. We broke up one-and-a-half years after we met. I was devastated. I was in a dead-end job and struggling. I switched Bible study groups and stopped seeing friends we had in common. “Dear God,” I prayed, “what happened? This was the woman You had for me and only three hours from my deadline!”

I couldn’t take being in the same city anymore. I got a great job offer back East and took it. Six months later, in January 1998, I was downsized. I was in my early-30s. Single again. In a large city. I knew only three people. “Dear God, where are You? I trusted You! Why didn’t You follow through?”

God Had Other Plans for Me

Little did I know, God had other plans for me and thousands of lonely singles. I was spending hours online, looking at rudimentary job boards (this was 1998, after all). I stumbled across these new dating websites popping up. I started to meet women both locally and all over the U.S. My business mind went off, and was born. I hired a marketer named Polly. She marketed us all over the internet, and the site took off. Polly and I became best friends. We took our time getting to know each other and then started dating. Four years after meeting, we got married. Polly and I celebrated 11 years of marriage last November. We have five wonderful children. Over 10,000 Christian singles have met and married through our service.

Lessons Learned

Where was God? Well, He was always there. And He did answer my prayer. But not the way I wanted. He answered it the way I needed. And many other singles were blessed by His answer. My West-coast girlfriend and I would have made miserable life partners. And would never have existed.

When we pray, we are taught to finish with, “Your will be done.” Except, we need to really mean that. Do we want God’s will for our lives? Or our own? We can’t put deadlines on God.

We need to realize His will is always the best for us, even if we don’t see it at the time. Even if it takes a while — even years. It did in my case. I am so thankful that He took His time with me and didn’t answer my deadline prayer.

 Sam Moorcroft is the co-founder and president of To receive a free two-week trial, use promo code BOUNDLESS.

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