This morning I awoke to a children’s winter dream. Snow covered all the eye could see and continued to fall. As a native of Alabama I am always entranced by this magic unfolding before me. I love snow. Most Northerners roll their eyes and give a sigh of frustration at the thought of winter weather interrupting their plans, but there is something enchanting about this white flurry.
Coffee in hand and still shaking the sleep off, I sit enraptured by this God-gift. I’m mesmerized by how fresh and pure everything looks. In this moment the Lord’s words recorded by His prophet Isaiah come to life and take shape:
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.”
– Isaiah 1:18 (NKJV)
That Christ would enter the wasteland of our filth and brokenness is a miracle by itself. But that Christ would enter in, substitute Himself, and make us as snow before His holy throne is unfathomable.
I sit staring at the white wonderland before me and am amazed. Christ can make my grime look this clean? Look this pure? How incomprehensible, how impossible…how wonderful!
I pause to make this a moment between my Jesus and me and ask for this kind of pureness. I ask, as David did, “Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow…Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your Presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your Salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit” (Psalm 51:7, 10-12).
I think I’ve found beauty in this day, but I know there’s even more to come, for today is special for more than just myself. Today is wedding day for a couple that have waited patiently for each other. I think back to my own wedding day. Amidst the blur of activity and people rushing to set this table just so and that flower arrangement just right, I sat and observed everyone. Hair and makeup finally done and dressed in white, I was ready to walk toward the man I was to pledge myself to.
A common question I remember numerous people asking was “Are you nervous?” My honest and simple reply was, “No, I’m just ready to see him”.
I was a mixture of calm and excitement, peace and anticipation. Standing behind the building, arm looped through my father’s, awaiting the signal to begin toward the aisle, all I could think was “I can’t wait to see him”.
Again Christ speaks and tells me, “This is the same anticipation you should have toward Me. This is the same eagerness with which you should live in expectation of reunion with Me”.
What a sweet Savior! Christ knows the best gift He could give was Himself and Christ knows the best future He can give is eternal reunion with Him. In light of this knowledge, God asks us to live with anticipation, with the “I can’t wait to see Him” mentality.
But His bride must prepare herself.
And WE are His bride.
On the day of my wedding I didn’t show up late and without the things I needed to look the part of the bride. Instead, I spend months preparing and planning. My mind was consumed with thoughts of how the day would go and what it would be like to finally belong to him. I spent the day prepping myself to be as beautiful a bride as I could for my soon-to-be husband.
It is in a similar way we are to prepare ourselves for the coming of our Savior. We are to live in anticipation of His return, by thoughts consumed with Him, to live with the expectation that our wedding day with Him will be more glorious, more grandiose, and more extravagant than we could dare dream!
This preparation begins with the process of purification. We wouldn’t put on a white dress if we were covered in mud. We must lay our hearts down before Christ, recognize His holiness, and ask that He would wash us white as snow. It is only once we are clean that we are ready to wear white. And we cannot clean ourselves.
How are you living in expectation of reunion with Christ? Are you preparing yourself as a bride on her wedding day? This is not a message exclusive for women, but for all of us who identify under the name of Christ. We, the collective Church, are His bride. So the question is, how are we living in anticipation of His return? Or are we?
Dear friends, my prayer for you today is you would see the beauty and wonder of Christ and His incomprehensible love. I pray you could have that moment with Him where you are allowed a glimpse of His adoration and favor toward you. You are fully loved and you are His bride, chosen to wear white and be joined to Him. I pray you would desire the pureness of snow and the heart of the waiting bride.
Heavenly Father, let Your splendor be known and let Your people prepare herself. Show us Your glory and teach us more of You. Amen.
“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; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.”
– Revelation 19:7-8