Sunday, June 26, 2011


11:59 p.m. Today's project was to put on a wedding for our daughter Heidi, with God's help and the help of family, friends, and professional vendors.

The day began rather oddly with my daily devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers. Reading today's selection was not odd in itself, since that happens approximately every 24 hours. But on a day when joy and excitement were to be the themes, imagine my surprise and dismay when I read the title:

Receiving Oneself in the Fires of Sorrow

The verse quoted was John 12-27-29: What shall I say? Father, save me, from this hour? But for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name.

Our Lord received Himself in the fire of sorrow, He was saved not from the hour, but out of the hour.

We say that there ought not to be sorrow, but there is sorrow, and we have to receive ourselves in its fires. If we try and evade sorrow, refuse to lay our account with it, we are foolish. Sorrow is one of the biggest facts in life; it is no use saying sorrow ought not to be. Sin and sorrow and suffering are, and it is not for us to say that God has made a mistake in allwoing them.

Naturally, I wondered whether God was preparing me for a terrible incident on this bright and well planned wedding day! When I think of sorrow, it's not annoyances and inconveniences that disrupt our day, like the mix-up in wedding morning breakfast plans, or the wrong length of acrylic nails that Heidi had to tearfully file down, the groomsmen's suits being the wrong color, or the makeup artist getting stuck in traffic, the bouquet having the wrong color and types of flowers; a late-arriving bridesmaid, a tear on the wedding gown train, or a tipping cake. Causes for sorrow don't even include the breakdown of the mother of the bride's Jeep on the way to the venue, to my way of thinking.

That's because all of the above can be tolerated, corrected, repaired or redone altogether. Sorrow, to me, comes as a result of a death, loss of a child or home, the perpetration of a crime, having a friend or family member with terminal illness.

So where did sorrow come in, on a warm afternoon and evening of biblical tradition and fun? I really can't say. I know that God was definitely testing our ability to trust Him in myriad fleeting trials, to see if we would stick together instead of laying blame, take the time to pray for one another for healing of inappropriate responses to the difficulties He allowed, or the opposite: turning on one another in ways that do not glorify God.

God does not deal with us for light reasons! Hebrews 12 :11 reminds us,

Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

God graciously gave us all the desires of our hearts, in answer to intense group prayer, for a wonderful wedding for Heidi and Pavel, a fine start to their life together as man and wife. In light of that grace, I am bearing in mind Proverbs 10:22:

The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.

Because I have the Lord in my life, even with a towed vehicle in the driveway, I am joyful and rich indeed!!

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