The odds say that black women are less likely to marry. CNN was kind enough to do an entire series on it in 2008. And a recent report by the Brookings Institute is reminding us of those dismal facts.
This is not new information.
But, I’m writing about this today because I had a conversation with a new friend about the topic. It was one of those conversations you walk away from and you’re like ‘Dang. I gotta DO SOMETHING.’ But, you’re just not quite sure what.
My new friend was explaining that she took the Mr. Right Quiz and she had some concerns. Because relationships are so much more nuanced, and there are so many things against us, and it’s just not as simple as I make it out to be. I accept that.
What I found to be the most troubling were her recent interactions with so-called Christian black men. Men that live one way in the pulpit and another on the street. Considering the odds, I almost fell into despair again.
But then I remembered the times, that odds didn’t matter.
The Odds Were Against Gideon
Take Gideon, for instance, he was commissioned to lead the fight against the Midianites. He was the least son, from a poor family, in the half-tribe of Manasseh. He wasn’t sure of himself. But he finally believed that God was calling him after a series of Divine tests. So, he gathered 22,000 men to fight the battle.
Here’s what the Lord said :
“You have too large an army with you. I can’t turn Midian over to them like this—they’ll take all the credit, saying, ‘I did it all myself,’ and forget about me. Judges 7:2 (MSG)
You probably know the end of this story: Gideon and his raggedy band of 300 men won that battle. But, the Lord ensured that the victory pointed people to Him.
The Odds Were Against the Canaanites
The Israelites were on the border of the Promised Land–the land flowing with milk and honey. God had wreaked havoc on their enslavers, parted the Red Sea, and given them more quail than they could handle to bring them to this point.
Then the Lord said:
Send men to scout out the country of Canaan that I am giving to the People of Israel. Send one man from each ancestral tribe, each one a tried-and-true leader in the tribe. Numbers 13:2 (MSG)
Moses chose the twelve men to go and scout the land…that the Lord had promised. The thing is, forty days later, ten of the men came back and confirmed that the land was good. But that the odds were against them:
- the cities were walled
- the people were strong
- and they were too small
Joshua and Caleb tried to convince the people to trust the Lord and not to fear. In return, the people threatened to stone them. The Lord was enraged with the people and he pledged to smite every last one, but Moses convinced Him to stay his hand (Numbers 14).
The Lord was on the Israelites’ side.
All the odds were against the Canaanites.
But the Israelites chose to believe the dismal report…not the promises of their tried-and-true God.
The Odds Were Against Me Too
In January of 2006, I packed up all my stuff, left Nashville, and moved to far west Texas. El Paso to be exact. My grandmother had passed away the summer before. And I was moving out there because I felt like the Lord was telling me to go and help my granddad.
While there I enrolled in grad school and my second semester, I met this handsome man . At first we were friendly, but after a series of miscommunications…he kicked me to the curb.
Fast forward a year and a half, I’m leaving my internship at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., and there at the precise moment I’m rushing to catch my train, to catch my bus, to then walk for a mile to get home…is that handsome I’d met in class all those months ago.
This was God’s divine intervention, because:
- I was one of only two people to get that internship (the year before I was rejected).
- I usually didn’t go to that stop, but I needed to go to Marshalls.
- 14,000 people get off at that train stop everyday
- 750,00 people ride the train in the D.C. area every day
- And Morris just happened to be waiting for a friend
Dearest Sister, I am not special.
I believe in my bones that the Lord wants to do something miraculous for all of us…to point people to Him. And when God wants to do something, He will orchestrate heaven and earth.
Our job is to listen and follow His guidance.
The Odds Don’t Matter, When the Lord is On Our Side.
So you see, it doesn’t matter what the odds and statistics have to say. We only have one of two choices:
- Believe the odds (like the Israelites), or
- Believe God (like Gideon)
Continue to be strong and courageous and press toward the mark for all that God has for you. I’m praying that the Lord continues to strengthen your heart. Love, Simone