This past week Derwin and I attended a wedding. The wedding ceremony is a vivid reminder of not just my love for Derwin but of Christ’s love for us. This wedding was full of both joy and sadness as the pastor wove two families together that had walked the deep valley of pain but followed God’s plan for their lives which lead these two families together. It was special to see the joy that God can bring to two families that have had such deep sorrow. Funny that at the same time Derwin and I went to see The Shack. We both read this book years ago and remembered the basic story, but seeing the story was a deep reminder of Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” This reminder from the movie is the theme of this wedding – from great pain and sorrow, God can bring tremendous joy.
Derwin was honored to have known both families and watch God’s plan bring them together. Tina and JR both lost their spouses several years ago. A colleague of Derwin’s, JR, watched his wife die of cancer. He was relieved of her finding her father hands in the midst of the pain, but the deep pain of her loss created an empty place that could not be filled. JR then began a lonely walk. Tina’s husband suddenly had a heart attack and was stripped from her life. They were clients of Derwin and he helped Tina walk through the insurance issues as she began that lonely walk. Both Tina and JR had adult children who were living their lives yet suffered along with their parents and loneliness and sorrow each were living day to day. As they each became weary but did not turn from their God and he provided as Isaiah 57:10 promises, “You were wearied with the length of your way, but you did not say, “It is hopeless”; you found new life for your strength, and so you were not faint.” And then Tina moves into JR’s neighborhood and the rest is history. They found joy in companionship. Someone to laugh and live with. All their children rejoiced in the joy of finding a new love, a new beginning. This new beginning for their lives reminds us all to count our blessings even in our trials as God provides for us as James 1:2 reads, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.”
The wedding which focused on Christ and their families was beautiful. God’s promise was realized for two families that night as the light of Christ shone. Ephesians 3:9 reads, “and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things,” Children and Grandchildren all coming together to enjoy and celebrate a new beginning in God’s plan of life. The children participated in the wedding pouring the sand of the family into the jar that represents their new marriage. Christ at the beginning and the end just as scripture reads, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Revelation 22:13. Between Christ is the love of the each family and the lives of JR and Tina were mingled to show their commitment to God, Family, and each other. It was a special service of new love and new commitment that God has offered to two families which have walked with him through the valley into the light of joy. God’s promise to them from Timothy 1:4, “As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy.”
Closing Verse: “And now I ask you, dear lady–not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning–that we love one another.” 2 John 1:5
Challenge: Lean on God as you walk through the valleys into the new beginnings God is planning.