Who doesn't love a wedding? My son is engaged to be married this summer, and weddings have definitely been on my mind lately--all the planning and preparing! In the midst of all this, my mind has been drawn back to a couple of dreams I had years ago. The dreams were in the same week, but different nights.
In the first dream, I was a bridesmaid. I suddenly realized that it was almost time for the wedding to begin, and I was completely unprepared. In sheer panic, I went through my closet looking for a dress. The only thing I could find was a dress I had worn when I was a junior bridesmaid in 1974. It was outdated and too small, but it would have to do. I then realized that I had no shoes! I ran into the mall, but all the stores were closing. Their big, metal gates were down, and the people inside were closing out the cash registers. I begged them to sell me a pair of shoes, but none of them would. I cannot begin to describe the feeling of horror that overwhelmed me. I realized that the wedding was beginning, and there was no way I would make it. This dream brings to mind a Scripture passage:
"At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.' 'No,' they replied, 'there might not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves. But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. 'Lord, Lord,' they said, 'open the door for us!' But he replied, 'Truly I tell you, I don't know you.' Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour."
The second dream was also about a wedding. However, it was completely different in nature. I was the bride. I was in heaven, preparing for my marriage to the King! Most of the glory of that dream was taken from my memory upon waking, but I was blessed to be left with at least a small portion of it! I could look out at the reception preparations: massive tables spread with the finest linen, china, crystal and silver! Enormous bouquets of beautiful flowers...lilies, and many other exotic types were everywhere. They were lush, expensive arrangements, and the fragrance from them was indescribable! People were making me beautiful--face, hair, nails--but somehow that preparation was not like it would have been here with cosmetics and chemicals, because I was already wearing my wedding dress. I turned and looked back at it. I could not even begin to comprehend the detailed beauty and extravagance of the dress--decorative stitching like I have never seen, with jewels, pearls, and sequin-type ornaments incorporated into the fine needlework. Even this little memory I have is beyond my ability to grasp... no wonder I couldn't keep it in its entirety! Here is the scripture passage that relates to this second dream:
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
"Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear."
This passage is so intriguing to me: The Bride's fine linen was given to her to wear, and it stands for the righteous acts of God's holy people! This brings to mind yet another Scripture:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of Godnot by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:8-10, emphasis added
God is preparing for a wedding, the likes of which we cannot fathom. He is preparing for His Son to marry the church, His chosen bride! As we are faithful to simply do the good works/righteous acts that God places before us, it is as if we are putting on the fine linen of the bride... linen He has chosen for us and given to us!
Finally, I want to emphasize the contrast in these two dreams. It actually took me a couple of days to realize the connection between the two! It was as if they were two sides of one coin. The panicked bridesmaid never made it to the wedding-- she never experienced the beauty, joy, and excitement that were waiting. Her only thoughts were for herself and her failure to be prepared. On the other hand, the bride never had one thought of anything other than the finery that surrounded her, and anticipation of the joyful celebration which awaited her! It was as if God was illustrating the choice He places before us each day. We can choose life and beauty and joy by being aware of His plan for us daily, seeking to notice and do the good works He has prepared in advance for us. Or, we can choose panic and chaos and horror by going obliviously through our days. God knew I would pay attention if He spoke to me about shoes--my very own love language! We all need to have our feet "fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace" (Ephesians 6:15)! I pray that we will each be continually preparing for the wedding, in anticipation of all that awaits us--that which we cannot even begin to imagine!
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Posted Jun 21, 2013 01:32:43 PM by Georgia Hook
Posted Jun 14, 2013 08:51:14 AM by Sandy Schweitzer