This is the divine recipe for the bride’s beauty treatment: otherworldly love that compelled a King to sacrifice himself on her behalf.
A few summers ago I wrote this post after the weather in Pittsburgh had seesawed back and forth for several days between drenching rains and bright sunny skies. I have been often reminded of the lesson in it these past few weeks. Yes, we’ve had our seasonal stutter start to spring, but we’re also experiencing on a grander scale uncertainty and confusion as a result of pandemic, economic instability, and the loss of what we’ve always considered normal. Now more than ever we need the exhortation that we not, as Bridges says, “deprive ourselves of the peace” of knowing that the hand that sends it is good, wise, sovereign and perfect.
Can I say, “I can be satisfied in all things because God’s ends are my ends”?
Opportunities come and go in our lives. Most poignantly, they happen in small slices of time. A moment’s hesitation and a job prospect is gone. One second more and that car would have sideswiped you. The phone sounds its last ring and you grab it in time to hear the apology you’ve been praying for. You crest the hill at exactly the same moment the sunset sky reaches its most glorious and spectacular release of color and light.
Why do we freely tie God’s hands to fate rather than man’s free will to God’s decrees? Why would we prefer to remove God’s purposes and determinations far from what we perceive as the taint of sin rather than even question that our definition of free will is flawed?
Here is the shared experience of those who travel Christian’s road, whether new or old in the faith: wrestling with “right” decisions, fighting doubts, putting off behavior and thoughts of the old man that do not honor Christ, grappling with understanding theology and God’s commands. These struggles threaten to steal any joy from living this life, and they don’t even come close to the battles that thousands upon thousands of worthy Pilgrims fight every single day for the sake of the gospel.