“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready” Rev. 19:7-8
Ever since she was a small a girl, she was told that she must prepare for when her Groom is to come for her. (Matt. 25:1-13, Matt. 24:42, 44) She goes to sewing school every week and sometimes twice a week to get pieces of cloth and thread. There she sits with others preparing for the Groom. They sew together, help each other untangle knots in their thread and take turns teaching the children how to sew.(Col. 3:16, Deut. 6:6-7)
Some of her stitches are small and neat, some are long and sloppy. Many have been torn out and re-sewn. The garment she is making isn't the most beautiful one she has seen, but it is hers and she hopes it is good enough as she really is doing her best. At least that's what she tells herself. Deep down she figures she probably could do a bit better; couldn't we all? But life is so demanding, and the Groom will understand. Won't He? (Heb. 4:15-16)
She tries to remember to bring her sewing box with her wherever she goes, adding a piece when she brings a meal to someone just home from the hospital, helping a handicapped person get their groceries into the car, saying a quick prayer as an ambulance speeds past or she when suddenly thinks of an old friend she thought she had forgotten.(Col. 3:17) Her sewing has its ups and downs; times when it's all she can think about and times when she can barely manage to get to sewing school at all. But overall, she has been improving and she is sure the Groom will be pleased.(Phil. 1:6)
And then it finally happens! The Groom is coming! She runs to meet Him, but stumbles on the way and tumbles. The garment is muddied and torn. She is bruised and bleeding.(Ps. 147:3) Not at all the picture she had in mind during the many years she had imagined this moment!
But the Groom is even more gracious than she had been told! He helps her to her feet, wipes off her face and lifts her chin.(Lk. 15:20) “It's alright, darling”, He whispers to her as she softly sobs on His chest.
“But I was supposed to be wearing this, this filthy rag!”, she cries, letting the garment slip from her hand back into the mud.(Isa. 64:6)
“No, My love”, He replies, “Look at yourself; because of your faith, you are dressed in My richest glory.”(Isa. 61:10, 2 Cor. 5:21)
Stunned, the girl looks down and slowly twirls as she sees that she is wearing the whitest, most beautiful, most elegant gown she could ever imagine! No longer dirtied and bruised, her hair and skin are perfect. She is radiant!(Isa. 1:18)
“Thank You, thank You! But what is this that I have been laboring on for so long? I thought it was to make myself acceptable and to please You.”
“No, dear one.” He sighs and her face falls. Quickly He gives her a hug of reassurance. “Don't misunderstand, My disappointment is not in you! All too often the schools become so intent on teaching My children to sew that they forget to teach the reason that they are sewing. It is your faith that pleases Me and you are accepted because I love you so very much.11 You have been working on this precious gift for our wedding day, and I will be the one wearing it, not you.”(Rev. 4:10)
“Oh, no! You couldn't! Not that meager thing! It's not worthy!” She cries, trying to stop Him as He bends to pick it up from where she has dropped it. But it's too late. He picks it up and He places it over His head, unfurling a beautiful regal sash across His chest.
“Why the crestfallen look?”, He asks.
“It's not even mine. My work wasn't good enough. You had to make another.”
“Not so, beloved! You have been seeing it as at the bottom of a deep well.(1Cor. 13:12) Look closely and you will recognize your workmanship.(Eph. 2:10) You will see it as I have always seen it; seen you: beautiful, pure, lovely.(1Sam 16:7)
She steps closer and fingers intricate embroidered flowers. “These are the tangles and knots I tried so hard to hide! I see their purpose now! And those emeralds, they are times of celebration and worship!”
“Yes! And see the sapphires? Those are the sleepless nights you spent in prayer.”
“The diamonds; are they my tears?”
“They are. Always so precious to me, not one has been lost or wasted.”(Rev. 21:4, Ps. 56:8)
“You've made it beautiful!”(Ecc. 3:11)
“I know life didn't always go the way you expected, but, as you can now see, we were working together the whole time. You have done wonderful work!”(Matt. 25:23)
“Now come, My dear. There are many who want to greet you and we have a banquet to attend!” (Rev. 19:9, Isa 25:6)
Today on the NoisyNarratives podcast we sit down and talk with Frisco First’s Senior Pastor, Dr. Chuck Martin. We talk about the ups and downs of owning our faith and going where God leads us no matter what. Sometimes ministry is fun and clean, sometimes it’s hard and messy. All through our journey our Lord and Savior is there and is ready to greet us at the end in our messy garments.
Written by Sherry Johnson, long time member of Frisco First and lover of animals and Jesus.