Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Marriage and Longing

The green doors in the chapel swung open wide. The sunlight cascading through the crack in the doors was no match for the beauty that entered through them. All eyes, especially mine, were on the beautiful bride as she walked down the aisle.

nikkiweddingMy heart still skips a beat. I can still see her face, her smile, our joy. Then my vision gets a little blurry because of the tears in my eyes. I wipe away the tears and she’s still there only closer—closer to my hand holding hers, and closer to beginning our lives together.

Part of my cheek-bath was due to the sheer beauty of my bride and the overwhelming reality that she was actually going to be my wife. If I had gotten the wife I deserved she’d probably have the face of a badger and its personality to boot. But no, I was receiving tremendous grace on this day—and every day following. I was not marrying the she-beast that I deserved; I was marrying a princess of grace.

That’s part of the reason I was crying.

The other reason was because for as long as I can remember I had a deep desire to be married. Singleness really stunk. I felt Psalm 13 deeply (though wrongly):

How long, O Lord?

Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me? 

2 How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? 

How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,

4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”

lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.”

As a Christian single that desired to no longer check that dreaded box on my IRS 1040 I felt like the enemy (singleness) was dancing over me.

“How long, O Lord will you leave me single? Seriously, I’ll take the she-beast I just don’t want to be alone.”

But the Lord tarried. And tarried. And tarried. It felt like an eternity. I was twenty-two going on ninety convinced that I was running out of time.

Finally on this day my longing for intimacy, companionship, and oneness with another was being fulfilled. And did I mention that God has overwhelmed with his gracious provision of such a phenomenal helper? He has in an overabundance fulfilled and reshaped my capacity for enjoying my spouse. God is good in his provision.

However, this is but a picture of a more mind-blowing reality. There will be a day when this scene is re-created. Only (and this still kind of weird’s me out) I’ll be the bride this time. And rather than the groom marrying way over his head (as in my case) in this scenario the bride is marrying WAY over her head. In fact her purity, her joy, her life, her everything comes from the Groom.

But this doesn’t keep the Groom from rejoicing, because “…as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.”  As is typically the case in earthly weddings there will be deep rejoicing by all parties on that day when the Bride is fully gathered to her Bridegroom. 

I wonder, though, do I long for that day as much as I longed for my earthly wedding? Am I praying Psalm 13 wondering “how long” until the Lord Jesus comes to rescue His bride and make everything aright? Do I ache for that day? Do I feel the pain of living this side of Eden as much as I felt the pain of singleness?

Come Lord Jesus Come!

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