Another Southern Wedding…

Driving along the narrow, winding county roads on a sunny July morning found me full of anticipation and excitement.  “Here it is,” I said as I pulled into the driveway of a quaint stone house.  I quickly parked and then jumped out of my car to find the bride.  Under the welcoming canopy of trees I spotted the lady of the hour arrayed in a long creamy gown with lace covering every square inch.  A sweeping cathedral veil fell gracefully over her shoulders and quietly swept the ground beneath.  Goodness, she made a lovely picture.

Her photographer was instructing her in how to pose.  “Now look this way, now that way – smile, gorgeous!,” and I really couldn’t help but smile myself.  What a pretty bride, pretty bright blue sky, and pretty green landscape accompanied with pretty delicate pink roses.

This sweet bride let me tag along for the day and take as many pictures as I pleased.  Oh, what a delightful prospect.  So here you go, my darlings; it was a wedding full of sweet Christ – honoring love and southern grace.

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Kissing Waves

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I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages. – Charles Spurgeon

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With a parable, we paint a picture between two objects.  In Luke 17:6, a mustard seed is used to describe the strength of our faith.  “If you have have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

In this way, the sea – it’s depth and the water that fills it – has often depicted the scenarios of life, as in the quote by Charles Spurgeon.  Here, a wave was described as thrusting us onto something, and, in this case, it was the Rock of Ages.  Because you are familiar with the seaside, you immediately form a picture of this scene in your mind!  You have observed waves crashing onto rocks, and the quotation creates a wonderful comparison between something you have seen with your eyes, and, something you may have also experienced in your own life.

In Mark 4:36-41, Jesus and His disciples set sail in a boat.  It was not going to be a relaxing, uneventful ride, for, as we continue the story, the disciples will soon be fearing for their lives!  A great storm arose while they were out, and the crashing of the waves began to fill the boat with water.  Terrified, the disciples cried out, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”    

In the midst of their alarm, all they can see is that the Master has simply – and unconcernedly – fallen asleep.

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They who dive in the sea of affliction bring up rare pearls. – Charles Spurgeon

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With what misgivings we turn over our lives to God, imagining somehow that we are about to lose everything that matters.  Our hesitancy is like that of a tiny shell on the seashore, afraid to give up the teaspoon of water it holds lest there not be enough in the ocean to fill it again.  Lose your life, said Jesus, and you will find it. Give up, and I will give you all.  Can the shell imagine the depth and plenitude of the ocean?  Can you and I fathom the riches, the fullness, of God’s Love?  –Elisabeth Elliot

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Some of you people of God, when you get bitter waters, want to throw them away.  Do not throw a drop of it away, for that is the water you have yet to drink.  Accept your afflictions.  They are a part of your education. – Charles Spurgeon

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The deepest things that I have learned in my own life have come from the deepest suffering.  And out of the deepest waters and the hottest fires have come the deepest things that I know about God.  –Elisabeth Elliot

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However, as we continue reading, we learn, “Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!”  And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.”

His disciples were afraid when, “…a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat so that it was already filling.”  Where was Jesus?  “He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow.”  In fear they cried out to Him for deliverance, and He awoke to hush the wind and waves.  He then asked them,

Why are you so fearful?  How is it that you have no faith?”

Maybe you too, along with the writers quoted here, can learn to have that kind of faith which enables you to kiss the wave that throws you against the Rock of Ages.