Our only daughter recently delighted us with the announcement that she is engaged to be married. As the nuptials are scheduled this summer, we promptly found ourselves in a flurry of activity. During the process of selecting a wedding gown, deciding upon the right setting for the ceremony, and discussing details with the caterer, someone asked us if we had a wedding planner. Of course, we replied that we ourselves were serving as the (albeit unpaid) wedding planners. Now that the bride and groom have committed to the marriage, we are scurrying about, attempting to tend to every detail, hoping we don’t forget something significant, and — of course — wanting our daughter’s day to be memorable for all the right reasons!
It occurred to me that God (as seems quite typical for Him — Jeremiah reports that God’s ways and thoughts are on a far higher level than ours) plans a wedding quite differently. We did not even begin to plan our daughter’s wedding with her until there was an official engagement, which indicated that both parties had agreed to the wedding. Suddenly we were mired in a myriad of details that demanded decisions, all in the space of a relatively short period of time — in our case, a matter of a few months. However, God planned all HIS wedding details millennia in advance of the actual date, certainly long before we were even born. What earthly father of the bride does that? Our heavenly Father paid for the entire wedding before we were aware that we would even receive a proposal from the Bridegroom, King Jesus! He bought our dress (we will be clothed in white garments, according to Revelation 3:5). He has already decided to hold a wedding feast (the marriage supper — see Revelation 19:9). He sent His Son, fully God and fully Man, to lay down His life for the Bride who had yet to even know her Savior, the Lover of her soul, existed! The most unusual part of this process is that God planned the entire wedding and reception before there was any commitment on our part to be that bride. Sounds a little crazy and backwards, doesn’t it? We would never have dared to set a time and place for our daughter’s wedding, much less worry about details of the event or pay a deposit on anything, before she had agreed to marry anyone.
However, God, mercifully, is NOT like us! He put everything in place, made all the decisions for an exquisite ceremony and celebration, and THEN He set about wooing us, His Bride. Yes, it technically is an arranged marriage, but unlike some earthly arranged marriages, the bride has a very real option. Hence, the question remains: Will we accept His proposal? Will we say, “I do!”?
Even though in my heart of hearts, I know without a doubt that I have accepted His proposal, I occasionally find myself behaving more like the runaway bride (see the movie by the same name). Each time I don my running shoes and flee in fear or even a little bit of rebellion, Jesus comes running after me. He is truly the most patient and loving suitor, and His love never fails. He NEVER gives up passionately pursuing us!
Lord, help my pursuit of You to be as passionate and unflagging as Your pursuit of me!