Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the Lamb is come and his wife hath made herself ready. Rev. 19:7
As a father, I recently watched my youngest daughter’s meticulous, howbeit frenzied, wedding preparations. The. Girl. Was. A. Beast! I don’t mean beast in a beastly way (she’s too far removed now from her country experiences back in the day for that), but she was consumed! Obsessed! And maybe even eccentric!
No detail was overlooked and nothing was considered frivolous. From the highly selective venue, to the reception, to the camera crews, to the breakfast menu, and of course, The Dress- everything had a purpose… and memorable wedding hopes were entwined with every carefully planned step. To her, the future had too much promise for this occasion to be shabby! She’d waited too long for the perfect man for this to be superficial!
Yet, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment of an exciting journey and lose sight of the goal. The personal commitment to the minuteness of detail relative to the possible uncertainty of others sharing the same concern can easily play a part on the stress level of any grand event. But in the planning of this wedding, anxiousness and frustration and “white knuckle moments” were strangely absent in both the bride and groom!
From my vantage point as a father of the bride and promoter of marriage ideals, I was more inclined to look for how they’d handle pressure, deadlines and difficulties. And trust me, I really did look! I mean, I even tried to rattle them on a thing or two! But they would have nothing to do with such trivialities! They’d just laugh it off… even got giggly and goofy at times! Trust me, it wasn’t like the wedding wasn’t a big deal to them, it was!…it’s just they saw a more perfect picture! For greater than the stress of a perfect wedding day, somewhere in the planning and precision of a wedding they saw themselves together far more perfectly! And additionally, they’d somehow gotten past the glitz and glamour of a wedding, and understood this was all about them… Not so much in the pageantry and protocol of a wedding, but in the deeper meaning of what a marriage celebration was all about! The bride and groom! Together! Forever!
In light of this observation, how easily do we believers get uptight and tense about the rigors of living for the Savior? How easily is our focus on holiness, purity and consecration relative to the great day of our Bridegroom’s return lost on actually loving Him? Maybe it’s time we remember how all this came about anyway! One thing we must never forget – from the beginning it was His choice to make us His bride! We didn’t initiate this relationship. Couldn’t. We didn’t have what it took. But He did! Love did! And with that as the strength of our relationship, isn’t our love to Him simply a reciprocal action? Doesn’t His love for us actually create in us the deepest of consecration and holiness? Is it really that difficult to love a perfect husband?
Only those who know Him for who He is and what He’s done, can love Him with all they are and with all they have!
It’s quite a paradox that even with the universe awaiting its greatest day, we’d get sidetracked by making the marriage of the Lamb one of labor, burden, contention or drudgery! How sinister has Satan planted thoughts of unworthiness, sinfulness and dread with hopes of diminishing the great day of The Lord! How encroaching are thoughts oft of our pettiness and paltry sacrifice in light of the Supper we’re invited to attend! How profoundly heavy sanctification can become, when fear motivates our preparation for the impending presence of the King! This is a wedding, Impact Church! Not a funeral, nor a courtroom, but the grandest thing heaven or earth has ever experienced! Love is in the air! And we are the bride! Prepared! Longing! And joyful!
So our eyes are on Jesus now! Anticipating with desire as a young bride would for her husband, we long for the day of consummation! The day of all things reconciled, all things complete and all things forever established! Should troubles come and temptations arise (and they will!), we’ll look beyond those temporal distractions and see the glory of our soon coming King! The bride is making herself ready!