A few days ago, my husband woke up telling me he had a dream that he was eating chicken enchiladas with corn tortillas and red sauce. This is a bit strange since he feels about casseroles (or anything resembling casseroles) the way I do. Moreover, in Mexican cuisine, chicken is usually paired with green chili sauce not the typical red chili sauce. So Sunday night I whipped up some red enchilada sauce, shredded a roasted chicken and some cheese, cut up some olives and green onions, and put together chicken enchiladas in corn tortillas with red sauce. At dinner Geoff joked with the kids about how I make all his dreams come true.
Cleaning up in the kitchen afterwards I was thinking about another Husband: the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the everlasting Husband. I was a member of his Bride before I married. After my earthly marriage ends, when death parts us, I will be part of the Bride of Christ into eternity. Are we his to make his dreams come true? Is that the kind of relationship we have?
Isaiah 54:5–8 says:
For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called. For the Lord has called you, like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit, like a wife of youth when she is cast off, says your God. For a brief moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In overflowing anger for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you, ” says the Lord, your Redeemer.
Over and over again the New Testament reminds the Church, corporately, that she is the Bride of Christ. But the Lord deals with us as individuals also. He is a Father to the fatherless, a husband to the husbandless, the friend to the friendless. He is our portion and the fulfiller of our soul’s deepest needs. He is the paraclete and our comforter.
It is the end of a year. How jolting a small man–created holiday can be to a soul. We love and long for fresh starts. When we fall back into a rut again around the first or second week of February, we see the year still stretching so far ahead of us and long for another turn of the calendar for the chance at a “do–over.” How small and forgetful our minds can be at times. We forget our Husband, the Lord. We forget to read our Bibles for a few days and believe ourselves to be failures in His eyes. We forget that with the Lord there are new mercies every morning, every hour, every second, in fact. We do not need to wait.
We do not perform for this Husband, as if anything we can do for Him will fulfill his dreams. “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:7). God is the maker of all things new, he is the restorer. As our King he sings over us, “Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing” (Zephaniah 3:16–17).
There is plenty of time to talk of books and plans and all those good spiritual disciplines that we the Bride do out of love (not compulsion) for our Husband. Yes, the planning will come. But before that, in these last hours of the year, let us, as the Bride, silently ponder in our hearts. Let us ask our souls some questions: How is our stewardship of time, talents and money? Are we serving for our Husband’s glory or our (the Bride’s) glory? Are we pointing the world to the Husband or to the Bride? Are we, the Bride, faithful, or are we an adulteress? Do we bring honor to our Husband throughout the nations or blasphemies and cursing because of our misrepresentation? Are we submissive to our Husband when it suits us and rebellious when we think we know better? Do we define “godliness” according to the Words of our Husband or do we like to add a bunch of rules (the ones we like to perform) so we can look like we are a faithful Bride? How fervent is our love toward our Husband? Do we long and yearn for our Husband or are we satisfied with the trinkets of the world? Are we quick to turn to Him and confess when we fall short in all these ways? Let us be quiet, let us put our hands upon our mouths and sit at the feet of our Husband in these long hours and let us just listen. Let us just listen.
He will indeed bless us with renewed mercies tomorrow. As a matter of fact, He may this day lift the melancholy that has plagued some over the holidays. He may this night restore marriages. He may this night bring back a prodigal. He may this night restore your dry soul with such fervency that you feel as if you have been lifted up to heaven. He may also this night take a cherished idol away. He may this night bring suffering. He may this night bring you to weeping and lamentation. Whatever the Husband does it is for the good of the Bride. Why? Because He is the perfect Husband. He makes no wrong or untimely decisions. He is an utterly trustworthy Husband. His love may at times be a chastening love, but Oh what a love it is! It is all glorious.