Sunday, February 27, 2011

Waiting for that perfect time

I confess: I hate waiting.

When I was younger, and, honestly, even now, when I'm waiting for someone to arrive or to come pick me up, I go crazy if they aren't on time. When I still lived "at home" with my parents, I would usually play piano while waiting. This was not just to pass the time - it was because the piano was in the living room, and I could watch outside for whomever it was I was expecting.

I am in a serious period of waiting, friends. Except this time, it's not just for a ride or for a friend to show up. It's for my wedding. In 3.5 months, I'm marrying the love of my life.

I get so antsy about it! I tell my fiancee all the time: I wish I could just quit my job, we could elope, and start our life together. But, alas, that can't happen. And so I am waiting.

This brings me to two thoughts:
1) God must have something to teach me in the waiting.
2) Why don't I expect Christ's return for His bride with as much excitement as I do my fiancee's "return" for me?

The first idea is partly a way to keep my focus in these last three and a half months. I decided in January that I needed to really let God shape me into the wife He wants me to be. If I am not reshaped by God, I will be one pitiful, selfish, unloving wife! Why would a bride spend great effort in reshaping her body for her groom-to-be and not ask God to reshape her heart?

So I have been praying for the last two months that God would do a mighty work in me, that He would show me areas that I need to let Him prune before they become dangers to our marriage.

The funny thing about asking God to help you find areas that you need His help on is that He will immediately start showing them to you! And so He is.

The second idea comes in large part from Matthew 25:

At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'
Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.'
'No,' they replied, 'there might not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.'
But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
Late the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!' But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.'
Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour." ~Matthew 25: 1-13

Scripture says that we, the Church, are the bride of Christ. He is coming back for us one day - though He has been "a long time in coming" (for us, at least).

Imagine that. Christ is coming back! And part of His plan is to collect His bride that they might be together forever. I know how much I long to be with my earthly beloved - I tell him every time we talk! I long for it with my whole being. I sometimes even cry when we are apart.

I wonder what it would be like if all of God's children waited with the kind of expectation and anxiety and sheer joy that brides do for their wedding day? I wonder how different we would appear to the rest of the world if we were truly expecting Him, waiting for Him, jumping in place in total excitement and pleasure knowing that He's on His way?

Are you expecting your bridegroom?

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