Have you ever known a child that is looking forward to a gift or a reward? I remember the day we announced to our three young children that we would be taking a family vacation to Disney World. We set them up for a surprise; gave them a few clues, and then played a video that revealed the destination. They were eagerly waiting from that day forward! The promise was sure and the day did indeed arrive.
We all have first-hand experience in this process and we never grow out of the wonder of it. Looking forward to a special weekend away, a family vacation, a special date night – all serve to energize in some way.
When I was single, I greatly anticipated being married. Once married, I could foresee with joy, a family on the horizon. Another welcomed arrival is that first house, which together a couple can transform into their unique home. It is right that we anticipate and then enjoy the blessings of God in this life but we celebrate them as pilgrims don’t we?
“We are all exiles, always longing for home. We are always traveling, never arriving. The houses and families we actually inhabit are only inns along the way, but they aren’t home.” (Tim Keller, Prodigal God)
The people of God over the centuries have navigated the diverse paths of blessing and trials in life, ultimately guided by the assurance of an eternal future. “Let us rejoice and shout for joy! Let us give Him glory and honor, for the marriage of the Lamb has come [at last] and His bride (the redeemed) has prepared herself.” (Revelation 19:7 AMP) The future anticipation of the wedding of the Lamb releases hope and joyful expectation into the here and now. The future gaze fuels the present.
Earthly marriage is a season of bridal readiness. It serves as a pointer to the most glorious wedding ever.
This glorious truth needs to light every marriage path – “….like an illumination from some other sun, giving us in a quick flash an assurance that we are from another world.” (A.W.Tozer, Pursuit of God)
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Cor.4: 16 – 18)
Every marriage must choose its world. A marriage invested in the age to come will reap the greatest return in this age.