A radiant bride greeted her guests with a brilliant smile as she entered the reception hall after the wedding ceremony. She gracefully moved and milled about the room, the train of her stunning white gown flowing along the floor behind her, her veil cascading down her button-adorned back.
She conversed with each guest one by one, taking the time to mingle and soak up the compliments. “You look absolutely lovely.” “Your dress is divine.” “I’ve never seen a more beautiful bride.” “What a stunning ceremony.” The lavish praises rang on and on. The bride couldn’t be more proud or more appreciative of the crowd’s adoration. She could have listened to them swoon over her all evening. As a matter of fact, she did.
But where was the groom? All the attention focused on the bride and never once did she call anyone’s attention to her husband. She didn’t even notice his absence at her side. Scanning the room, I searched for him, wondering, “Where could he be?”
I finally found him, but not where I expected him to be. The groom stood alone over in the corner of the room with his head down. As he stared at his ring, twisting the gold band that had just been placed on his finger by his bride, tears trickled down his cheeks and onto his hands. That is when I noticed the nail scars. The groom was Jesus.
He waited, but the bride never once turned her face toward her groom. She never held His hand. She never introduced the guests to Him. She operated independently of Him.
I awoke from my dream with a sick feeling in my stomach. “Lord, is this how I made you feel when I was looking for love in all the wrong places?” I wept at the thought of hurting Him so deeply.
Unfortunately, this dream illustrates exactly what is happening between God and millions of His people. He betroths Himself to us, we take His name (as “Christians”), and then we go about our lives looking for love, attention, and affection from every source under the sun except from the Son of God, the Lover of our souls.
Oh, how Jesus longs for His own to acknowledge Him, to introduce Him to our friends, to withdraw to be alone with Him, to cling to Him for our identity, to gaze longingly into His eyes, to love Him with all our heart and soul.
What about you? Do you have this kind of love relationship with Christ? Do you experience the inexplicable joy of intimacy with the one who loves you with a passion far deeper, far greater than anything you could find here on earth? I know from experience that you can.
Excerpted from Every Woman’s Battle: Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2003. All Rights Reserved. Published by WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.