Ecclesiastes 3 is one of my favorite passages of Scripture in the Bible. We are told in this passage that there is a time for everything. There is a time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to uproot. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build. A time to weep and a time to laugh. A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them. A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing. A time to search and a time to give up. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.
Interestingly enough, though this is one of my favorite passages of Scripture, I don't always put this in perspective. With all that is going on in the world I don't often stop, remove myself completely from the news and goings on of the world and focus on what time it is in my life.
Tonight I had the opportunity to do that. One of my dearest friends got married tonight. But this was no "ordinary" wedding- not that any wedding is exactly ordinary. I absolutely believe that every union is unique, special, and out of the ordinary. Unfortunately, too often we do not look at it this way. So often, it is just "something to do" or "something that automatically comes next" or "something that is expected".
But this wedding is unique for so many reasons.
I have never cried at a wedding until tonight. Not even at my own wedding. Now, let me clarify that. Yes, I was emotional, and I cried a bit. But tonight, I wept like a baby. But these were most definitely tears of overwhelming joy, love and happiness. This wedding truly was the most beautiful wedding I have ever been to.
By the world's standards, my friend is very plain and ordinary. She is a doctor. There are absolutely no frills about her. She is no-nonsense, very practical, very simple. She often teases me that I am going to have to help her decorate her home because this is not something she knows anything about.
I believe that so much of the time we crowd out the beauty of things and situations by overpowering them with the frills. Tonight was proof of this for me.
Now, please do not misunderstand- this wedding was so very elegant. There was a string quartet, a vocal quartet, a worship leader, beautiful roses, a cocktail hour, dinner was served, dancing- there was nothing left out. In fact, the bride made her entrance down a long, spiral staircase. There were many things that were a part of this wedding that I've never witnessed before which absolutely amazed me.
Tonight, I saw the most beautiful, simple, elegant expression of patience and love. My friend has waited a very long time to get married, and in fact, for many years, she thought she was supposed to live a single life. But when God has a plan, when we seek His will for our lives, when we are patient, His timing is absolutely perfect!
I saw a true picture of forgiveness and healing tonight. I saw a true picture of patience. I saw a true picture of adoration. I saw a true picture of worship to my King by two people who are so madly in love that they reflect not only their love for each other, but their love for our Savior as well.
I've never been to a wedding where there was a time of worship- until tonight. Worshipping with my friend and her new husband was one of the most amazing things I've ever been a part of. To see them worshipping God for their relationship was so beautiful!
Too much of my life I have rushed through things. I am not a patient person by nature. Patience is something I consistently seek in my prayer life. Tonight, I saw the reward of patience- not just for my friend, but her new husband as well- who is also now a friend of mine.
There is a time for everything. Tonight was my time to get away from the chaotic news of the world, escape from phone access, and not only witness a beautiful celebration of love, but to be a part of that celebration of love. I am so very thankful that God allowed me to not only witness something so intimate and beautiful, but to be a part of it as well.
Yes, indeed, there is a time for everything. So often I get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. Tonight I relived my wedding. My husband is truly a blessing from God. Next to my gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ, my husband is the greatest gift God has given me. We have been married for more than 8 years now, and every day I fall deeper and deeper in love with my husband. Oh yes, like everyone, we have our moments. But in the end, these moments actually grow our marriage stronger. There is a time for everything!
Tonight was my time to escape and celebrate life and love. Tonight was my night to focus on the beauty and simplicity of life and love. We are so inundated with technology, news, and social networks these days that too often we lose sight of the simple things in life. I pray that I never lose sight of the simple things. There is ALWAYS time for that!
Lord God, I pray that You will bless Michelle and Jimmy's marriage beyond their wildest imagination! I pray that they will always take time out to focus on the most simple, most beautiful thing of all- Love. Help them to never lose sight of the simple things in life, and not get caught up in the things that crowd and complicate life and marriage. Though they are both very well grounded in You and each other, I know that Satan seeks to kill, steal and destroy this beautiful union. I pray they will never lose sight of this day, when things were so new.
I pray that You will continue to heal Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. There is a time for everything under heaven. I believe You have a purpose in this tragedy. May You be glorified in all that is accomplished.
I pray these things in the precious, beautiful Name of Jesus Christ- Amen.