I find right now it's a season of preparing the bride.
This bride- for after 2 ½ months of living in a house with 11 other people, even though I really love them, I'm seeing my selfishness much more clearly. I see how often I want to do my own thing, to consider my own desires first rather than someone else's. I have felt the impatience and agitation rising when I get interrupted from my plan or pulled in many directions being the only Creole speaker in the house. It's ugly sometimes in my heart, but I sure am thankful for the opportunity for the junk to rise to the top and be sanctified out of me. Selfishness has no place in marriage. God is preparing this bride. I'm not ready yet.
And the bride- for the Bible says the Church, God's people, is His bride, and that Jesus is our Bridegroom coming back for us. We're all waiting for a Wedding. And right now it's the time to get ready.
I see He sent us here to help do this in Jeremie, to beautify and prepare His bride. Because these children don't know how precious they are to Him. They're not ready yet. So often they are neglected, treated as throw-aways, hungry and left to their own devices, with little or no love or hope or truth poured into them. So week after week we go to them, we embrace them, we jump and sing with them, we crowd in close and pull them on our laps for a Bible story, we ask them questions, we pray for them. We teach them, through words and actions, that they are loved, that they have value and purpose, that they are treasured by Jesus. He's getting them ready.
1 Samuel 2:8~ He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the beggar from the ash heap, to set them among princes and make them inherit the throne of glory.
Back home, in a different land with a wildly different set of circumstances, it seems to me Jesus is preparing His bride in another way. He's trying to teach her that to find your life, you must lose it, that it's not in living for ourselves, but for the Kingdom, that will prepare us for the Day He comes back for us. We're not ready yet.
It's a season of preparation, for all of us. A vital season. But in the preparation, the yearning still remains, for one Day the sin and the sorrow and the separation and the waiting will all be over, and we will see Him face to face. A beautiful bride united with her Bridegroom in perfect love forever. What a Day that will be!
Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.