A few days ago our daughter and son-in-law celebrated their twenty-fourth wedding anniversary and in a few months our son and daughter-in-law will celebrate their thirtieth wedding anniversary just prior to my husband and I celebrating fifty-four years of marriage.
What precious memories!
It is hard to fathom that time has flown by so quickly that we now mark these years together. How well I still recall the beginnings of these relationships. Getting acquainted, becoming friends, and then hearing the desire to engagement are still clear in my mind and heart.
Then came the sweet anticipation of the wedding day.
Every detail was considered to make the day as beautiful and special as possible. Where would the wedding take place? How many guests would be invited? What about the food and beverage choices for the reception of guests? What colors would be chosen for the theme that would go through the engagement to the wedding to the reception? What could we afford for the honeymoon?
Those parts of the planning that focused on the bride were a primary focus. What flowers, shoes, hairstyle, and jewelry would be chosen? But central to everything was the wedding dress. It needed to be “just right” and fit like a dream and allow us to feel beautiful and cause our groom to be mesmerized as we stood at the back of the aisle waiting for the music’s signal to walk toward him.
My mother made my wedding dress, as she was an excellent seamstress. The dress itself was made of beautiful lace and she added a silk peau de soie overlay that attached at the waist and extended into a chapel length train. Her talents included stringing pearls into a design to hold the veil she also made. (Yes, she did an amazing job!)
Those gifts of my mother did not pass on to me so when our daughter needed a wedding dress I enjoyed the fun of shopping with her as she tried on one and then another at several shops until we found one we fell in love with. Then we called her dad to come and look and participate in the final decision.
I can hear more than a few of you reminding me that all these preparations also add more than a little stress and more decisions than we ever imagined before we were the ones making the plans.
Even with all that, anticipating our wedding day or the wedding day of a child, grandchild, or very close friend is a never-to-be-forgotten experience.
What sweet anticipation of what that day will actually be like and finally becoming one with the person we love the most in the world!
As our pastor has been teaching throughout this year through the book of Revelation, it has not escaped my awareness that we who are betrothed to the Lord are in that time of preparation for the wedding He has planned for us. The bride price has been paid at Calvary for those who have accepted his invitation.
Unlike the modern wedding preparations most of us know about, this will be more like the ones of long ago. In those days once the betrothal and promises have been made, the groom would go to prepare the place for him and his new bride to live. The future bride was to be preparing herself so when he came for her, she would be ready. She did not know the exact hour or day so she needed to be in a state of readiness.
I was reminded of all the preparations Esther completed written in the Old Testament book of Esther prior to being called to meet an earthly king. There were all sorts of scented lotions, oils, and potions used so that every part of her would be lovely and fragrant. She also received wise counsel about how her deportment and attitudes were to be to please the king.
What I cannot help but wonder is how well I am using this time of preparation with that day in mind when the Lord comes for me (and you). Not unlike days of old, we do not know the exact time or hour and yet it is clear from what his Word teaches in both Old and New Testaments that the time is growing near.
If I am holding the day that He comes dear, am I experiencing sweet anticipation? We should be getting ready for a party unlike any other.
How will I (or you) greet Him?
What will I (or you) give Him?
If you have accepted his invitation, savor the sweet anticipation, but also be about preparing for his arrival as the Lord continues to prepare the place for us He has designed.
Read John’s words in Revelation 19: 6-9 (TPT):
“Then I heard what seemed to be the thunderous voice of a great multitude, like the sound of a massive waterfall and mighty peals of thunder, crying out:
For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns!
7 Let us rejoice and exalt him and give him glory,
because the wedding celebration of the Lamb has come.
And his bride has made herself ready.
8 Fine linen, shining bright and clear,
has been given to her to wear,
and the fine linen represents
the righteous deeds of his holy believers.”
9 Then the angel said to me, “Write these words: Wonderfully blessed are those who are invited to feast at the wedding celebration of the Lamb!” And then he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”