(Photo courtesy of the wonderful Megan Travis Photography)
Last weekend, I got to play dress-up and be a “fake bride” (as I like to call it;)) for a stylized shoot with 3 amazingly talented photographers. Passersby congratulated me, stopped and watched, and asked if it was my “big day”. We laughed, because although we DID end up just playing along with it, it was obviously NOT my wedding day. In fact, there was no groom to even be found! When I look at the image above, I see a bride waiting attentively to walk through the doors to meet her groom. What the bride’s story is, I don’t know. Who the groom is and what he looks like, I don’t know either. But that attentively waiting bride, and the unknown, “invisible” groom are very metaphoric to me. They remind me of how sometimes, all we can do is wait. Sometimes, our response to prayer, our response to honoring the Lord, our ANSWER, is to be still in Him. I am notorious for having the mindset of, “God, I need this NOW." What can I say? I'm a "go getter". I always tell people that I can be patient with others, but find it difficult to be patient with myself. Being still has never been in my nature. Even as a child, I was always restless; always doing something. But even in my constant days of chaos, craziness, restlessness, and feeling like I need all of my dreams and aspirations, accomplishments, and answers to lifelong prayers to come forth in the NOW, I realize that sometimes...sometimes, we are supposed to wait.
On Sunday, I had long run day. If you've ever trained for a marathon, you've probably had a schedule with short runs throughout the week, and the (sometimes dreaded;)) long run on the weekend. Well, that was me, trying to pound it all out in an hour. So, I decided to combine some sprints to get done faster. The result? I not only ran to the bathroom dry heaving, but my body completely maxed out. My friend working at the gym shook her head and told me, “Don’t go at your max to try and finish faster when you’re training for a marathon. Pick a steady pace, and stick with that.”
I find that this is how humans function, more times than not.
Rather than patiently enduring the way our lives unfold, patiently waiting for that “groom”, we rush. We take short cuts in haste, but oh, we max out. Rather than finding peace, we find ourselves tangled in a frazzled, anxious, and sometimes confused mindset. The bride doesn’t breathlessly sprint down the aisle to her groom. No. She prepares herself. She takes a deep breath. She strolls gracefully and eagerly, taking her time to reach him. What if we practiced the same thing? What if we allowed ourselves to be still for a little while, and simply wait, making room for God to work in our stillness? Two friends and I have been studying Exodus, and last week, I underlined and made a sloppy, scribbled note of THIS, in 14:14:
"The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent."
Obviously Moses was speaking to the Israelites, but these are words that we, even in this millennium, should still cling tightly to. To me, it serves as a reminder that my flesh can only do so much. It reminds me that as much as I beg and plead for things to come in the present, and no matter how much I mentally kick and scream and humanly try and make things attainable...sometimes my response is to be silent, be still, patiently wait for that groom, whatever it might be, and ready my heart for the Lord.
“Like a bride waiting for her groom; we'll be a church ready for You. Every heart longing for our King, We sing, ‘Even so come; Lord Jesus come.’”