The etched with gold calligraphy invitation came by mail. A message of love and commitment. I was invited to celebrate, along with the bride to be and her family. A fall wedding with the promise of dreams fulfilled for one little girl, all grown up, now embarking on life as a young woman, soon to be wife. I marked my calendar, marked the response card yes, and posted it on my fridge as a reminder for the months to come.
Fast forward to a beautiful fall afternoon as we traveled to the sprawling countryside of north Florida, to a farm…the wedding day had arrived.
It was my birthday weekend too. So much celebrating was about to take place. Family and friends gathered. The wedding music filled the air as the bride, escorted by her teary eyed dad, walked to the alter. My eyes brimmed with tears for such a solemn occasion. And my heart burst with joy for all the meaning this day held in the memory banks of my life long friends.
And then in the hours that passed, my heart was jolted to another level of emotion. My phone posted a message of death creeping its way into the life of a dear friend. A young mom, fighting cancer, had been called home. Leaving a husband and two kids I had taught for 5th grade. How could it be?
My heart was divided…Joy for a new bride. Deep grief for a family thrust into an unknown arena. Now to live forward without a wife and a mom.
So on a Sunday, I celebrated a marriage covenant sealed. Then 5 days later celebrated a home going for a life well lived by my sweet friend.
And that is how life goes in the broken world we live in. Weddings and funerals…moments of delight and moments of grief…easy days and hard days… contagious laughter and grief that takes our breath away…joy overflowing and tears streaming that can blind our every step.
Oh, but there is a truth that trumps it all…The Most High God holds every moment…So whether in new beginnings or in death that comes too soon, we must remember God is God. We must find our place in Him alone. We must hold tight to the unchanging truth that He is sovereign in His world and in our lives. He is the Rock of Ages…the Anchor of Our Souls…the Keeper of Our Heart…Our Strong Tower…the Faithful God to a thousand generations…the One Who rains down amazing grace…the One Who refreshes our every morning with new mercies…the Hope of every single day in every single circumstance.
So…I reflect on my past week and remember God leads the way, and I am glad.
I hope you too follow His lead and choose His gladness today and everyday to come.
“…For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me…” Isaiah 46:9