Rare are the moments in life when joy is pure, untinged by touches of sorrow, loss and sinfulness. If your family is like mine, most family gatherings are not times of pure joy, but Laura’s wedding day was an experience of unequalled delight, an uncommon gem among the ordinary rough stones of our broken world.
For most of us Thanksgiving gatherings are just around the corner, heavily laden like our plates with piles of emotions mixing with one another. Tomorrow we turn the calendar to November. Can you believe it?
But today it’s only one short week from my Laura’s wedding on October 22nd and I’m still relishing the tastes of heaven we experienced. God’s Word tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice, so I invite you to share our joy as I proclaim to anyone who reads these words the wonders of our God made evident to all who shared with us that heaven sent day!
1. Most obvious on my list of gifts God gave was the perfect weather we all enjoyed. I admit two weeks before when the forecast predicted rain on both Friday and Saturday, my faith faltered and I felt panicked. But it was such a good lesson for me to trust that God would not only give us what He desired, and it would be good, but that the peace I’d felt from the beginning about a rain-free day was to be trusted. At the wedding the weather was in the low 70s with a light breeze and a cloudless blue sky. It was perfect. Only God can control the weather, so this gift is especially amazing because it was so obviously His great kindness.
2. Second on my list is the wonder of good friends. My friends and daughters and sons helped in countless ways making the already beautiful location truly special. Laura’s bridesmaids were like little mother hens caring for her when she woke up on her wedding day after not nearly enough sleep and began to feel nauseated from all the pent up emotions and not eating. They nurtured her so well and by noon she had rallied. Once she saw Josh in their private first look, she was calm and ready for the day. It was an answer to my prayers.
3. A third wonder for me was the number of people who came from great distances to be present to celebrate our daughter and her groom. Seven or eight flew in from Washington DC and NYC. Others flew in from Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona, Colorado, Texas and California. And then dozens drove from Dallas, Nashville, Indianapolis, and other towns in Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee. One friend of Josh’s came from Ethiopia and another guest came from Mexico!
4. God’s timing, though much different than what we’d prayed for, was perfect. “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him,” is a verse Laura placed her hope in as she waited for God’s timing for marriage. And as it always is with God, it was worth the wait. As Dennis and I continue to get to know Josh, we are impressed each time with his good heart, his love and care for Laura, and his desire to please God. It’s easy for me to get discouraged with God’s timing, to slip into unbelief, to stop praying, but watching God unfold this love story has reaffirmed for me the truth that His plan is always best.
5. Last is the wonder of marriage itself. In the daily working out of our marriages we forget it is God’s idea in the first place. He created it and He can make it work. Yes we have responsibilities, but He gives us the strength to forgive, the grace to be patient, the courage to serve, and all that we need to make marriage what He meant it to be. Watching the beginning of a new marriage is a great reminder to all of us that God loves weddings and marriages. It’s woven into the fabric of the entire Bible. He can make it work. Nothing is too hard for God.
May my joy fill you with hope to believe again, to trust God more fully, to wait patiently in belief that He has not forgotten or forsaken you.