June 23, 2017

Friend of the groom

My read-through-the-B1BLE-in-a-year plan turned into a read-through-the-B1BLE-in-10-years plan. I'm not even joking! I started it when Zion was born. But last week I did it! I came to the last chapter of Revelation and I read it slowly, sentimentally. It was a dear thing, reading "The grace of the L0RD Jesu§ be with G0D's people. Amen" and then closing the worn leather cover, and knowing that every word of the holy book has now passed before my eyes.

So now I am on to the popular youversion app, where I have started a 30 day reading plan (let's hope it doesn't take me 30 years) reading through the books of John and Acts.

Today I read from the book of John, chapters 3 and 4. In verses 29-30 of chapter 3 I read, "The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater, I must become less."

The speaker in these verses is John the Baptist. He means that the hearts of the people are not his to keep. Now that Jesu§ has come, he John can rejoice to watch the people turn away from him and toward Jesu§. He John can rejoice in this because he is a friend of the groom, so his heart yearns for his friend to have his bride. His heart does not yearn to have the bride for himself.

I pondered this. I knew there was something in these verses for me. 

Then it came to me, a question from G0D, asking, "Kayla, as a mother, is your heart yearning to have the kids for yourself, or is your heart yearning for me to have them?"

What difference does it make? I think it makes all the difference in the world. If the friend of the bridegroom cared more for the bride than for the groom, he would be a terrible friend to both. The bride and groom were meant to be together. The friend attending the groom should yearn for that to happen. 

So if my children grow up to die on some battlefield somewhere, can I live with that? Or if they move to a jungle and die of dysentery - or at the end of a militant's gun - can I live with that? Would I rather keep them for myself? If I did, whose friend would that make me? Certainly not theirs (who wants a clingy mother, sniffling and wringing her apron in distress?) and certainly not His (what groom wants a friend who grips the hem of the bride's dress?).

What then is my job? 

I think my job is to love Him with all my heart, and all my mind, and all my soul. With regards to my children, my job is to point them in the direction of their groom. When I hear the groom's voice, coming for his bride, my job is to rejoice.