A young couple at church got engaged today. After the service, as word started to spread about what was going to happen, a crowd gathered under a tree outside the front door. And when the couple came out, the young man started talking. He talked for just a minute about his love for her, and some of the qualities he has come to admire.
And then he turned to her, and got down on one knee, and asked her to marry him.
It was very sweet, as proposals always are. Blushing smiles, trembling hands... the anticipation of their whole lives ahead of them, and they get to spend it together.
After he turned to her and asked the question, they were facing each other, and she had her back to many of us. They kissed, making it fairly obvious what her response had been, but still he turned to all of us and called out, "She said 'yes'!" It was a fun moment for all of us to share.
|This is not them. I didn't have my camera today, and this clearly isn't the front door of our church. But this is another couple from our church, earlier this summer. Aren't they adorable?|
So I've been thinking today about the enormity of the word "yes".
I've been married 23 years. (I know some of you reading this are thinking, "pff... that's nothing!" And kudos to those of you who can say that!) So I have a better understanding than those two kids (well, okay, not exactly kids) of what she was saying "yes" to. Though it will be reiterated when they say their I do's, they were both saying "yes" to struggles and trials of varying kinds, from watching someone else repeatedly screw up the checkbook, to cleaning up vomit, to snoring. And those are the day-to-day challenges. Not to mention the possibility of unemployment, infertility, or frightening health scares.
I'll bet if I asked both of them if they are aware of those possibilities, they would assure me that they are. But they would also, if they were being honest, have to confess that there's a lot they don't know, about what to expect. And yet, they both are willing.
Scripture is full of accounts of people who said "yes," in situations where they had no idea what to expect.
* Abraham, when he answered God's call to move to a new land (Genesis 12)
* Joshua, when he led the Israelites in nonsensical marching around Jericho (Joshua 6)
* Gideon, going into battle with pitchers and torches (Judges 7)
* David and his army advancing against the enemy, when they heard the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees (2 Samuel 5)
* Elisha retrieving a sunken ax head with a stick (2 Kings 6)
* The disciples when Jesus instructed them to bring him a donkey and a colt (Matthew 21)
* Paul, blinded, and being told to go into the city of Damascus and await further instructions (Acts 9)
By agreeing to the proposition laid before them, each of these men were saying "yes". They were trusting Him who had said, "Will you?"
It's both exciting and frightening, to look into the future. We simply cannot see. Or worse, we are mistaken about what we think we see.
But just as with that young couple today, the reason we say "yes" ~ is love.
~ "I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
'Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?'
Then I said, 'Here am I! Send me!'"