A strange e-mail arrived in my inbox. The subject line read, "I'm looking at your future Wife."
This is obviously the type of email that gets my attention, so I opened it up. It's from an old friend (we'll call him Steve) who attends a church here in town. I haven't spoken with him in months.
From his Blackberry, he sent a very brief e-mail telling of a church function he was at and a female that was there. I laughed and thought, Now that's a pretty clever church recruitment tactic. Can you see that on a billboard?
"Visit Bill and Fred's Church of Fun. Your wife is here!"
I'm just kidding. Steve is a great Christian man from an excellent Bible-based church. His motives are pure. He's just playing around, keeping it real...
Let's get the obvious out of the way first -- Steve most likely has not identified my future wife.
However, this guy is pretty good at deciphering those things. Six years ago or so he took a woman he just met into a corner at a church singles event, and after a very brief discussion, he asked her if she was looking into the eyes of her husband. Her response?
"I think I am."
Today they have two beautiful children and are very happily married. I have no doubt in my mind now (although I had serious questions at the time) that it was God who brought them together.
Steve and his wife got lucky, right? That's not the way God works. It's supposed to be a process. How can someone look at someone else and make a determination like that?
Silly Samson. There's no question that he was a mighty man of God. But goodness, he was shallow...or was he?
Let's look at the first four verses of Judges 14.
1 Samson went down to Timnah. There in Timnah a woman caught his eye, a Philistine girl. 2 He came back and told his father and mother, "I saw a woman in Timnah, a Philistine girl; get her for me as my wife."
3 His parents said to him, "Isn't there a woman among the girls in the neighborhood of our people? Do you have to go get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?" But Samson said to his father, "Get her for me. She's the one I want--she's the right one."
4 (His father and mother had no idea that GOD was behind this...)
You've got to love Samson. He didn't even waste time saying "please." It was like, "I saw her, I like her, go get her."
Verse seven makes it clear that all this happened before he had even spoken to the girl. It's hard to believe God would actually be behind something that "irresponsible." The fact is that God placed the desire within him.
Maybe His ways are above our ways, after all.
Are there any other hopeless romantics out there? Anyone else believing God for something unusual? Out of the ordinary? Hoping God will arrange something spectacular! Do an Ephesians 3:20!!!!????
I've been trusting Him for it for years.
Sitting on the counter in the guest bathroom of my condominium is a copy of Modern Bride Magazine. I didn't put it there. My younger sister did when she stayed with me briefly right after she graduated from college. However, I've never removed it. That magazine has sat there for almost 18 months. Trista is on the cover and she is just GLOWING with joy!!
When I'm at a grocery store and pick up a magazine, I often start with a bridal magazine. It's been that way with me for years. I love the image of a woman in a wedding dress. I like to flip through and look at all the beautiful pictures.
On January 18 of this year the Houston Chronicle ran a photograph on the cover of a bride having her wedding pictures taken.
I ripped it out of the newspaper and it is taped to my computer at the office, along with a printout of Proverbs 18:22 which states: "He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and receives favor from the Lord." That same scripture is on an index card, taped to my computer monitor here at home.
On the mirror in my bedroom are three things: the garder belt that I caught at my sister's wedding two years ago, the ticket stub to the Rockets-Grizzlies game I spoke about earlier in this blog (see Dec. 4), and an index card on which I have written, "You want it, she wants it." People have asked what that means. I explain it is a simple reminder every day to practice the spiritual disciplines today that will make me a better husband tomorrow. She will need me to be everything God has called me to be, and I want that more than I can tell you.
To me, my future wife is serious business. It's not a game. It's the cry of my heart.
It's interesting, because the Lord has used this desire in the past to communicate the passion and intensity of his love for me. The Bible often uses the "marriage" between a man and woman to typify the relationship Christ has with us, his church. I remember several years ago walking out on the jetties off of Seawall Boulevard in Galveston. I was extremely lonely, tired, disillusioned...I remember talking outloud to the Lord there as the waves smashed against the rocks. I said, "Lord, please bring her soon. I want to be with her soooo bad." He very lovingly spoke back inside of me, "Now you know how I feel."
I was taken aback. He was telling me that this longing, this incredible desire I had, was shared by Him. How He longs for that intimacy with us. We are loved passionately by God! If you have any question about the passion or excitement of God's love for us, take the time to read the Song of Solomon again. Many feel that is another reflection, or picture, of Christ's love for His bride.
One of the beautiful things about serving God is that He always uses our times of discomfort to teach us something. In this case, I have always equated that incredible desire to see my wife come down the isle on our wedding day with how he longs to stand face to face with me -- and you -- on that day. And, how he longs for intimacy with us even here on planet Earth. If I had married at 22 (and there is certainly nothing wrong with that), I wouldn't have experienced this in the same way.
Now when I'm incredibly lonely and wishing I could spend time with her, I try to turn it around and see how bad He desires to spend time with me. And you.
I have played the moment I meet her over and over in my mind. When I meet my wife, I will have done it already countless times in my imagination. I tell her on this blog how nuts I am about her, even though I have no real guarantee the one God has for my future is reading it. I try to live my life in the realm of faith, which means I believe all of God's promises are already there, I just haven't walked into them all yet.
Back in the day, that type of faith was commended (read Hebrews 11). Today, like then, it could get you laughed at.
But you know what? I'd rather believe with everything in me, step out of the boat and miss it a little bit (or a lot), than to take a chance of not experiencing everything God has because I'm too scared to believe for something amazing.
My hope and prayer is that each of you reading this believes the same way.
So, having said all this...To my gorgeous Princess, wherever you are, know this: I have a lot of love bottled up inside of me for you, and I will do everything I can to love you like He loves the church. That's not only His command, it is something I'm excited about and looking forward to doing.
Angel, God has put a very powerful, very real desire for you deep within me.
And we're one day closer to His perfect time...