As believers, we are referred to as the “bride of Christ.” I’m going to be straight up honest with you, that never made sense to me. I’m marrying Jesus? Some religions have twisted and perverted that, and we’re left with a bad taste in our mouth wondering what it would mean to be the bride of Christ.
But God revealed to me the concept of being his bride in the sweetest, most tangible way over the past few days, and I just couldn’t wait to share this with you.
Here on the island, there’s a site I see most every day. There’s a man out walking, pushing a homemade stroller of sorts. The seat is fashioned to recline, and there’s a white canopy for shade. Laying within the stroller is a woman. He pushes her for hours every day.
This past Friday, I came upon them face to face while out exercising. I saw they were likely in their mid to late 70s, both incredibly tanned from the warm island sun, him smiling so big he could eat a banana sideways, and her in a vegetative state. He and I greeted one another with a brief “good morning” and passed on by.
I soon came to my turn around point and saw them ahead of me again. My pace was catching them, he saw me, and stopped to seemingly wait for me. And that’s when a conversation unfolded.
I told him I see him out often and he said, “Yes, we do 6 miles a day,” nodding his head toward the woman laying in the stroller.
Not knowing if this was perhaps his sister, or his elderly friend he cared for, I asked, “and who is she to you?”
What followed was a sentence spoken with such passion it stopped me in my tracks.
He said, “Oh, she’s my wife!”
He then told me they had been married for 53 years and he cares for her completely. He dresses her up for holidays in full costume and pushes her all around town. I remember seeing them from the road on Christmas Eve and she was in a full blown Santa costume. He lovingly puts shorts on her so her legs can soak up the sunshine. This woman was clearly not a burden to him, she was his greatest blessing.
He told me how he had dressed her up for Valentine’s day last week, and he said with a tear in his eye, “she’s always been my valentine.”
I walked away thinking, “Gosh, I better start laying out my holiday outfits now, because I’m not so sure my husband would know what to dress me in.”
What a husband. What a love. What everlasting care no matter the circumstances. She has nothing left to give him, yet he continues to give his all.
And then God showed me, “THIS IS WHAT I MEAN WHEN I SAY YOU ARE THE BRIDE OF CHRIST.”
This is the way you are loved.
YOU ARE NEVER A BURDEN! No matter what, you are not a burden to Jesus!
That’s for someone today. Someone who feels so frustrated with themselves because they simply can’t seem to get their crap together and keep it together. Someone who is struggling. Someone who is questioning. Someone who feels they have nothing to offer. You feel like a burden. You feel like a failure. You feel like a disappointment. But Jesus is never burdened by you.
Honey, he will lovingly pick you up every single time.
He is honored to be the one caring for you. Here’s the thing, Jesus doesn’t HAVE to, he GETS to.
He GETS to love you.
He GETS to care for you.
He GETS to provide for you.
He GETS to save you.
He GETS to rescue you.
He GETS to heal you.
He GETS to restore you.
He GETS to, because you are his bride.
I can hear the man’s voice saying it again with such pride as she lay there in their homemade stroller “she is my wife!”
And Jesus says about you, “She is my girl. I choose her again and again and again. I will never leave her or forsake her. I will pick her up every single time, and I will help her get where she needs to go. She and I will walk endless miles together. I’m taking her on every adventure!”
Revelation 19:7 “Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready.”
You are his bride. His chosen one. The one he has promised to love forever, and honey if he needs to push you around in a stroller, he will do it with absolute joy. He will even dress you for the occasion.
This is his love for you. This is his care for you. When you can’t walk ahead on your own, he will carry his bride.
Remember the poem “Footprints In the Sand”? I think it hung in the house of all of our Grandma’s at one point, right?
One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”
God doesn’t have to carry you, he LOVES to carry you. Jesus doesn’t have to walk with you, he GETS to walk with you.
Why? Because you are his bride. His love for you will never end. His care for you has no limits.
You’re not a burden to him and he’s not walking away from you when things get hard or when you fail. When you can’t do this thing on your own, that doesn’t mean your journey ends. It means you’re getting in the stroller, honey.
Let him carry you today. Let him care for you and prove he’s not leaving you when things get hard. He will carry you through this and never once will you be alone.
My friend will be out putting in some miles with his beloved wife today. He will have dressed her with care. He will have intentionally stretched her legs out for sunshine, while pulling the canopy to shade her face. She will know she is not a burden, she is a blessing.
May you know the same today. Your bridegroom loves you. He chooses you over and over again. He’s honored to carry you, push you, deliver you, guide you, and provide for you. You are chosen by Jesus, and you are a blessing to him.
This is love, and you are the recipient of it every single day!