Can God Use Single Women? Anna the Prophetess
A while ago my mom gave me an article that she thought would encourage me in my extended period of singleness. The basic premise was that single women should spend their time helping married women, and caring for children while they are single. Now, I don’t want anyone to misunderstand, I think that helping others and spending time with children is great if that’s what God has called you to; however, I just didn’t believe that these activities were the primary things that single women should be focused on. The article just seemed to be saying that single women should be assistants to the married women until we are promoted to the role of wife. This idea did not sit well with me at all, so I decided to see what the Bible had to say about single women.
SPOILER ALERT- they’re not sitting home waiting to be promoted to wife. These women are courageous, fierce and were greatly used by God
Today we are talking about one of those single women named Anna.
A little disclaimer here, Anna was married earlier in her life. However, we only meet her after she has become a widow. The book of Luke says, “She lived with her husband seven years after her marriage and then she was a widow until she was eighty-four.” So right off the bat, this woman has been dealt some rough blows in life. Being single is rough, but I have to believe that being single again, especially after a death, has to be a special kind of trial to walk through.
Anna’s story reminds me that it is so important to trust God and to follow him through whatever season he has placed you in. I’ll be honest, I really don’t want to be a pro at being single. Doing life by myself is not a skill set that I wanted to have. I am often tempted to just complain and look for ways to end my single season faster.
However, it’s important to remember that even if you meet the right person and get married, there’s no guarantee that you will never have a period of singleness again in your life. Many people who get married will end up being single again at some point through either death or divorce. It’s worth it to put in the work, and learn how to trust God through an extended time of singleness. If you spend all your time as a single trying to make your season end, or rush it, you will not learn the valuable lessons you need to and may have to learn them again later in life.
Now, I have no idea how old Anna was when she got married. At this point in history she could’ve been as young as 15. Since she was only married for seven years before becoming a widow, Anna spent the majority of her adult life single. So what was she doing for all those years she spent alone?
If I found myself in that situation, I think I would’ve been desperate to find another husband. In ancient times widows had a rough life. Women were not able to succeed in the workforce in the same ways they can today. A woman without a husband or child was literally alone in the world with very little hope.
Anna instead, chose to devote her time to the Lord. Luke 2:37 says, “She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.” Wow! What would it look like to have that kind of dedication to God? Most of us can’t imagine spending all of our time focusing on the things of the Lord.
In Luke 2:36 Anna is referred to as a prophetess. The word prophetess means that she was one who proclaimed a divine message. Not only did Anna spend time worshipping and learning about God, she also proclaimed this good news to others every chance she got.
Her dedication is even more amazing because Jesus had not yet died on the cross. She had no miracles to reference, or teachings from Jesus to claim. Anna had faith in the words that the prophets had spoken. She believed that Jesus would come to earth as a baby and ultimately die on a cross to save sinners like her.
God honored her commitment to him in an amazing way. She met Jesus!
When Jesus was just a baby, Mary and Joseph brought him to the temple. Anna was able to meet Jesus Christ! How amazing! She had been proclaiming the message of the gospel for years, and now she had proof that her faith had not been in vain.
Having the honor of meeting the baby Jesus must’ve made all her years of loneliness seem insignificant. She remained faithful through a lifetime of difficult circumstances and was richly rewarded.
While none of us will have the chance to see the baby Jesus here on earth, we serve him with a much larger goal in mind. When this life is over, and we go to heaven, can you imagine the joy that will fill your heart when Jesus says, “Well done, my good and faithful servant”?
I know that we all hope to understand God’s plans long before the end of our lives, but know this; your work for the Lord is not in vain. Even if you do not see any benefits to remaining faithful right now, remember who you are working for. Remember that the Lord has brought you faithfully this far through life and will not leave you.
Though you may not get answers this side of eternity, God has a plan in your single season, and if you remain faithful to him you will be richly blessed.