Thursday, July 2, 2009
Wedded to You
I was having real difficulty getting to sleep. Mind racing. Numerous topics of anxiety. Money. Job stress. Health issues in the family. Future and career for the children. It seemed as if I had to go over all of them before I would allow myself to sleep. Finally at about 3 A.M. I conked out.
I am usually a solid sleeper with few dreams. It was unusual therefore that I would be pulled out of sleep at about 5:15 A.M. In my spirit I heard the words,"I am wedded to you". I awoke. Not at all groggy, and began to contemplate what I had just heard. I felt remarkably refreshed.
Often I have joked with male friends about trying to get my head and heart around the concept of being part of the "Bride" of Christ. Women have little trouble warming up to the image of the perfect husband. Men often opt out with the concept of a team coach or military Captain who is with them in the fray. But no,we are Bride material!
Looking at my own wife, I know that I know we are knit as one. She could do nothing which would turn my affections away seriously. She is my closest experience of unconditional love. I will always put things in the best possible light concerning her. "Love thinketh no evil."
Recently some reading from the book of Job impressed me with the standing of man and wife before God. In the dialogue between God and Satan the enemy had been allowed to attack everything of Job's (children, servants, flocks, herds, beasts of burden, crops) but not his life. His wife lived because apparently God did see the two of them as an inseparable unit!
Now let us take this privileged position of spouse and apply it to the Bride of Christ. Joint heirs. Inseparable. Mutually submissive. Growing unity of thought and purpose. Yeah, I certainly want to be in on that!
And now perhaps I can read the comments of the old Scottish divines a little more comfortably. They were always seeing themselves in the context of the Beloved in the Song of Solomon or as Ruth in that delightful tale of marriage. Imagine hardy Scottish Covenanters heading to the wilds and resisting the King's dragoons to the death for the sake of truth and presbytery. Brides, or rather part of the Bride!
Grace now seems a little clearer. Many teachers have often told me that there is no effort on my part which would make God love me more: neither is there any error or stumbling which would make Him love me less. He is ravished by his Bride.
I leave you with the beautiful thought expressed by Naomi to Ruth in chapter three of that book:
18 Naomi said, "Sit back and relax, my dear daughter, until we find out how things turn out; that man isn't going to fool around. Mark my words, he's going to get everything wrapped up today." (The Message)