One of our ministry team had just gotten married, and most of our team was there. We had a lot of fun together, and in spite of the fact that I’m really very serious all the time. But, anticipating the bride would do the customary thing of, you know, throwing the bouquet at the reception, I had a special warning for Pam, one of the single young women on our staff. I told her that I had designated two big guys to tie her to her chair when it was time for the bouquet tossing. In case you’ve missed this little custom, the story is that whoever catches the bride’s bouquet will be the next one married. Well, the big guys never materialized and Pam made sure she was front and center for the big moment. The other girls never stood a chance. She played defense with flying elbows; she lunged to make the big catch. It’s the first time I’ve ever known of first-aid being administered at a bouquet toss. All right, I’m exaggerating just a little… but just a little. Pam was not to be denied having the next wedding! By the way, who thought up this custom anyway?
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “The Altar – Whatever it Takes.”
“I’m getting married soon, whatever it takes!” Well, the grabbing of the bridal bouquet is sort of a fun pursuit of that goal. For many, there’s nothing fun about it. It’s the most serious pursuit in their life.
Maybe it’s you or someone you know, just living to be married. When you want it badly and it just isn’t happening, it’s easy to become more and more frustrated, and honestly more and more desperate. Which can, in turn, cause you to make some lifetime mistakes that will cost you the very happiness you want so much; a mistake like settling for the wrong person.
One longtime single man I know said it this way: “I’d far rather live wanting what I don’t have than having what I don’t want.” Some who belong to Jesus will settle for marrying someone who doesn’t even share that most important of all relationships. That’s why the Bible commands, not suggests, commands, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14). You violate God’s boundary and you get a marriage without God’s blessing, and no love is worth that.
Genesis 24:14 suggests a powerful prayer for every single person, “Let her (or him, as the case may be) be the one the Lord has chosen.” I’ve talked to so many people who have made a lifetime marriage mistake because of loneliness, desperation, and they all agree: there’s something lonelier than not being married. That’s being married to the wrong person. That’s the loneliest lonely of all.
Our word for today from the Word of God is an awesome promise for anyone wondering if they will ever have the love they crave. Philippians 4:19 says, “My God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” No one knows you better than the God who made you, including all of your deepest needs. It’s not going to be a man or woman who will ultimately meet those needs. It will be the God behind that promise. He’s promised to give you what you need – what your Creator knows you need, not necessarily what you think you need. And He always meets our needs in His perfect time. Those who try to rush it, ruin it.
Maybe you’ve almost put your life on hold until you find that man or woman to marry. Don’t waste a precious day of your life waiting for what you don’t have. Live this day – single or married – with all your heart! And don’t let your waiting start to turn you hard and cynical, bitter, negative. Those kinds of responses insult the God who said He will meet your needs, and by the way, they repel love rather than attract it.
Don’t miss what God is doing in your life because all you can focus on is what you wish He was doing. Celebrate this day, knowing “this is the day the Lord has made” (Psalm 118:24) and that “the Lord is your shepherd and you shall not want” (Psalm 23:1).