When George and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary, we decided to put together a video. You can image my husband’s surprise as I unfolded a long table and began to stack picture albums on the table. There were stacks upon stacks from 50 years of marriage that I had carefully put together. As we relived those years together, with different hairstyles and debatable clothing, I realized our life experiences had shaped us and grown us closer. We shared many high points of joyous times of pure laughter, the birth and raising of our children and grandchildren, and traveling all over the globe. There were many wonderful times but also hard times of blending our lives at an early age, undergoing health scares, and grieving the loss of loved ones. Throughout the years, we learned to love without wanting our selfish needs met. We became best friends and put the Lord at the center of our marriage. I am grateful for the love we have, but realized I have another great love in my life.
As I think more about love, I am challenged to examine whether I have viewed the Lord as a friend or a Bridegroom. Recently I read Psalm 119 in The Passion Translation and got down on my knees, convicted by the words of David. His words were so full of love and passion for God. I asked myself, “Have I slipped into a casual friendship mode? Or am I deeply in love with the Great I Am?”
In Psalm 119, David writes, “I have longed for you with the passion of my heart. … I will run after you with delight on my heart” (10, 32a). These verses made me visualize running towards my Bridegroom, my arms opened wide in expectation of Him wrapping His loving arms around me.
“Guide me into the paths that please you…. May your tender love overwhelm me, O Lord….I will walk with you in complete freedom, for I seek to follow your every command. … My passion and delight is in your word, for I love what you say to me! I long for more revelation of your truth, for I love the light of your word as I mediate on your decrees.” (vs 35, 41, 45, 47, 48). These words made me visualize myself holding my Bridegroom’s strong and gentle hand as we walk, while He expressed words I needed to hear. My face glowed with His wisdom and love.
David goes on to say, “Throughout the night I think of you, dear God; I treasure your every word to me” (55). In reading this, I questioned myself, “Do I think about Him before I close my eyes and if I awaken in the night? Do I daily contemplate His words and treasure them?” David continues, “With all my heart I seek your favor…. Your extravagant kindness to me makes me want to follow your words even more! . . .. The words you speak to me are worth more than all the riches and wealth in the whole world” (58,65, 72).
As I write about in Say Yes to the Bridegroom, we are His bride, and He is the Lover of our souls. Our relationship with Him blends two hearts, and like all marriages, love goes both ways. No human can comprehend the depth of God’s love. He gives us over 6,000 promises in His Word that He will never break. He never expects us to be perfect, but like any groom, He wants us to love Him with our whole heart.
I have been a bride of Christ for decades and I am still discovering more revelation of His love and tenderness towards me.
The Lord wants true devotion from us. He isn’t interested in our leftovers. He wants us to worship Him in word, in deed, and in songs with a thankful heart. Just as in all marriages, the conversation flows both ways. He wants us to have constant conversation – or “breath prayers” – throughout the day. Breath prayers are short prayers or phrases that speak of our love and feelings for Him.
A few examples are: “His loving kindness is better than life”; “The Lord is gracious and full of mercy”; “His goodness and kindness never fails me”; and “I love you, my Bridegroom.” These are just a few, which I’m sure you can add to. I challenge you to form a habit of saying breath prayers throughout the day. Try short phrases all day long to keep your mind on the greatness of our Lord. Out of your passion for Him, your love for others will flow like rivers of living water.
Lord, I set my heart on you. May my mouth speak of who You are as I worship and praise You at each sunrise and sunset. May my breath prayers of thanksgiving and love flow unceasingly to You, making me attentive to Your greatness. You created me for more than just a friendship with You, but to be your faithful bride. Thank you for the Psalms that bring my heart back to you. Thank You for being my Bridegroom who chose me to be Your eternal bride. With all my being, I express to You my love. Amen