The Spirit and the Bride

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800px-Long_Wedding_Dress_for_Couple_with_Flowers

“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.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)” Rev. 19: 7-8

Being one to already see life through a lens of interesting analogies, I am very blessed to have a job that fascinates me: that of a bridal stylist. Basically, I help the women coming into our bridal shop narrow their search for that special gown that they will wear on their wedding day.

As a follower of Christ, one of my deepest joys is to serve the body however God may choose for me to do so. Part of the intrigue of my job is that it can reveal deeper meaning for me as similarities arise between a bride I am helping to dress and the way I may serve or “adorn” the body of Christ, His Bride. On numerous occasions I experience wonder and fascination when the Holy Spirit will unfold a message that impacts my heart, or speaks a truth to me in “allegorical” fashion as I perform my duties. I am beginning to acquire quite a little collection of these lessons of the heart, some of which I will enjoy sharing from time to time here at FGGAM.

For example, one day I spent an hour or so steaming wrinkles out of a wedding gown in preparation for the bride. It’s a peaceful, quiet process in the back room that allowed me time to reflect on scripture that speaks of Christ preparing His church to present it without spot or wrinkle. I realized that like the dress, I too need some spots and creases in my character gone over repeatedly before smoothness is finally achieved and all is right and beautiful.

Another time, an engaged couple in their sixties came into the shop to find the bride her wedding gown. She was from another country and sweetly shy. He was kindhearted and gentle, yet strong in his care to help find his bride what she needed for their day. Realizing their wedding was just weeks away, I explained it was too late to order a dress, but we could make her an appointment to help her find a sample from off the rack. As this loving groom turned to his bride and spoke, my heart was pierced. “See now, my love, time is running out on us. You need to call your sisters and make an appointment to find your dress in order to be ready for our special day.” (!!!!!!!!!) I reflected on a verse in Revelation, “The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” (Rev. 22:17)  Am I certain I am making passionate appeal to those around me to come find salvation and life in Jesus?

Yesterday was another thoughtful occasion as I was in an appointment with a bride. She made a comment on one of the dresses she tried on that even though the lace fabric appeared to be much heavier, it was very surprising to her how lightweight the dress actually felt on her body. I thought of the times God has had things for me to do, areas of service or even a trial to face head on that “appeared” much harder than what it actually ended up being. Brides will quite often see a dress hanging in a plastic garment bag and make quick decision as to why she doesn’t want to try “that one” on. If I can gently coax her to take a chance at trying it on, many times it takes her by surprise even to the point of it being her perfect fit! Later as I dwelt on the exchange, Matthew 11:29 rolled around in my mind, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Over the course of my journey in Christ, I seem to be especially tender to this beautiful picture of Jesus as Bridegroom and we as His Bride. I thrill to scripture that speaks to this intimate union; I enjoy reading commentaries or hearing a message on the topic, as well as lifting hands during praise music that expresses the divine romance. Day after day as I drive in to work, I am grateful and privileged to have been given this job that speaks to me in whispers and wooing of God’s Spirit to His Bride. It presents for me a framework of prayer for the body of Christ and hones my inner man to be attentive to “adorning” those around me. Lord, may we willingly yield to the gentle work You desire in our lives as you prepare to present us to Christ as His Bride. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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