Monday, May 2, 2011

The Grandiose Wedding

Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.

(Revelation 19:7, NIV)

The world turns her eyes once again on the royal wedding. I thought it was just a while ago, the grand wedding was featured in every media coverage for a long period. I was just a young girl. The most talked about occasion on the lips of romantic people. That were the parents of the latest royal newlyweds, Prince William and his beau. Now the glamour belongs to their son and his beautiful wife.

Wedding – some like it simple. Many plan for the grandest occasion. Once in a lifetime. I don’t know about guys. Girls dream of the most romantic do. The dress – oh, that dream dress. I remember my own search for the ideal dress I wished for, and I never really found it here in this part of the world. I only drooled over it in magazines. I managed to settle and made peace with one and wore it on my wedding day. Yes, I was being complimented. My mum-in-law loved it. There was a whole lot of preparation to think through and about together with my fiancĂ© then, and some major decisions with our parents. It was a tedious process of getting ready for just that one day.

The constant reminder to me was not to lose joy in the elaborate process and not to lose focus on the more crucial part – the marriage, the relationship. My fiancĂ© and I talked through a lot of things during our courtship and some of these issues were discussed with greater intensity when we attended pre-marital counselling. The entire preparation entails great effort and deliberate thoughts and actions. My perfectionism and creative side longed for many aesthetic details which I eventually let go due to lack of budget. Nevertheless, it still turned out to be a grand do. The best part of it all, was not all the aesthetic fringes. It was the preparation of the spirit. That moment of standing in the presence of God and worshipping him as he joined me and the man whom I love was an indescribable unity. Simply awesome.

Great rejoicing and gladness filled the air. Weddings – what a glorious occasion! I cannot help it but to think of the Grandest of all weddings. My limited mind cannot imagine the grandiose feeling nor atmosphere of Christ coming back for his Bride. Are you ready?

The verse today urges us to rejoice and be glad, to set the tone to glorify him. We should be ready, but are we? Here is an imagery of our intimate relationship with Christ. How will we look like, be like, when he comes? Are we looking into the important details of preparation? Or losing track concentrating on the insignificant fringes? Is our heart cleansed and excited to welcome the grandiose occasion?

This is a constant personal challenge to me. I urge you to think through and get ready. Be the most beautiful bride, set apart for our Glorious Groom.

Glorious Lord, make ready my heart and spirit as I await the Day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

In The Darkness

“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

(John 20:15, NIV)

In the dark of that very early morning, the hurried footsteps could be heard in the quietness. Her heart was filled with anxiety. Her hope was almost lost. She was hanging on a thread of the least that was left in her heart. She needed to find the body. One last hope. Just one more to bang on.

To her horror when she reached her destination, the stone was rolled off. The entrance of the tomb was left opened. She panicked. Her only remaining hope. It was gone! The body of the Lord she loved was not there anymore.

She hastily ran to the other men and announced the shocking news. Two men immediately set for the site and soon found the truth. It was gone. The body – it was gone! In the midst of the emptiness they only saw the strips of linen and burial cloth for his head. She was not imagining. These men witnessed it too. The empty tomb.

While the men left, she remained at the spot crying. Her whole being was flooded by a gush of sorrow unspeakable. She stood in the darkness of the wee hours of the morning weeping in tremendous sorrow. Her last hope vanished. She must have stood there confused, afraid and helpless.

A sudden voice interrupted her weeping. She looked up and saw two angels. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” She replied quickly, “They have taken my Lord away and I don’t know where they have put him.” She felt another presence and another voice interrupted her again, “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” “Please, sir, tell me where…I’ll get him,” she muttered in between her sobs.

Jesus then called her name, “Mary.”

In the dark hour and amidst the quietness, I instantly heard him asked me the same question, “Woman, why are you crying?” “I am here.” I felt a sudden closeness of my Lord and heard my name. That was enough. It was suffice to reassure me that he will take care of everything. In the darkest hour. In the darkest night. He is there – always. I may not realize his presence when I am caught in the deepest sorrow, pain, confusion and anguish – just like Mary at the empty tomb. When I thought my last hope was also gone, he appeared. He resurrected it.

That’s the power of his resurrection. He died a cruel death but on the third day, he rose again. He caused the darkest night to break forth with the dawn of his light. He is risen. All hopes are found in him.

We stand here today to celebrate the power of his resurrection. That same power still works today. He did not die in vain.

The power of his resurrection lives in us.
Blessed Easter!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Beauty of Wrinkles

Yet you, LORD, are our Father.
e are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.

(Isaiah 64:8, NIV)

Our van stopped at a junction and an advertisement on the billboard caught my eye. It publicized a beautiful girl with flawless complexion holding on to a peeled mask of her older face – one which is wrinkled and drained by the years. An attractive discount offered for a makeover boldly printed at the bottom. What is new? The lure of the commercial world of our era is ever seeking to be more convincing.

My husband instantly commented, “The older face looks so much better. It is carved by character.” I looked again at the billboard and thought that’s pretty profound in the words of my wise husband. The older face looked more real, down to earth, though a bit wrinkled but possessed the grace of aging. That’s a certain kind of beauty which is unexplainable. It has earned its glory through the hard years of life. The younger face displayed was so flawless that it makes it so fake.

A bookmark given by a friend many years ago tucked in my bible read:

Today I saw a lovely thing…

A tree,

Sculptured and turned,

Weathered by the winds

And storms of the years.

I thought of you…

How time and hardships

Can work grace and beauty,

When lovingly fashioned


I know you are precious in HIS sight…

by Glenna Oldham

We do not have to fall into the trap of the unruly commercials. Our beauty and worth are determined not by the cosmetics and outer adornment. It is the Lord’s beauty filling our life as we spend time with him regularly and allowing him to gently mould and fashion us according to his purposes. Because we are his, we are called “precious and honored in his sight” (Isaiah 43:4). This is the key text of GEMS which I hold strongly too as God spoke to me many years ago that how many women are destroyed simply not knowing this truth. As daughters of the King, we must recognize our precious worth in and to him.

As we age (which is inevitable), know that the glory and beauty of the years are characterized in our face. When you look into the mirror and find facial lines as the pages of your life chapter turns, know that the Potter shapes us into his masterpieces – every piece intend to depict his character if only we allow him.

Precious Gems, we don’t stay young forever. Whether you are 10, 20 or 30 now, the number will continue to increase and we cannot live in denial. We must glow with his radiance whatever age we are. Our character is carved. To the beautiful girls of God, we all say - Amen!

Father, as I look into your eyes, I see such beauty. Fill me with your beauty anew daily. Let me be your confident girl in every season. Let those who look at me see your beauty and grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.