This past Sunday in our Bible Heroes Sermon Series we examined the amazing story of Joseph. Life definitely hands Joseph some lemons (he’s sold into slavery, lied about and falsely imprisoned, forgotten for over 2 years by a man he helped). Yet in the end it all works for good. God uses Joseph to save his family and provides the protection needed to turn a small family into a great nation.
Perhaps our problem is that we fail to see the bigger picture. The disaster of the moment may not be that big a deal ten years from now. Robert Fulghum, one of my favorite writers, tells a story that illustrates how we can celebrate even in the midst of seeming disaster.
Fulghum tells of a wedding where the character he refers to as MOTB (mother of the bride) was driving everyone crazy. This wedding was of epic proportions. From an 18 piece brass and wind ensemble to 24 bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls and ring bearers. Everything was happening with military precision until the moment of the processional. Let me let Robert Fulghum tell the story in his own words...
Ah, the bride. She had been dressed for hours if not days. No adrenaline was left in her body. Left alone with her father in the reception hall of the church while the march of the maidens went on and on, she walked along the tables laden with gourmet goodies and absentmindedly sampled first the little pink and yellow mints. Then she picked through the silver bowls of mixed nuts and ate the pecans. Followed by a cheese ball or two, some black olives, a handful of glazed almonds, a little sausage with a frilly toothpick stuck in it, a couple of shrimps blanketed in bacon, and a cracker piled with liver pate. To wash this down – a glass of pink champagne. Her father gave it to her. To calm her nerves.
What you noticed as the bride stood in the doorway was not her dress, but her face. White. For what was coming down the aisle was a living grenade with the pin pulled out.
The bride threw up. Just as she walked by her mother.
And by “threw up,” I don’t mean a polite ladylike urp into her handkerchief. She puked. There’s just no nice word for it. I mean, she hosed the front of the chancel – hitting two bridesmaids, the groom, a ring bearer and me...
Only two people were seen smiling. One was the mother of the groom. And the other was the father of the bride.
Fulghum explains how they pulled themselves together for a much quieter, gentler ceremony in the reception hall. People still cried like you’re supposed to at weddings. The groom held his bride in his arms for the entire ceremony and his kiss was one of heart wrenching tenderness.
But the best part of the story is that 10 years later they had another party to celebrate the disaster complete with video footage of the first celebration. Interestingly, it was all planned and coordinated by the MOTB.
Why celebrate such a fiasco? Because in the end the bride still got the groom! Two people in love got married and began a life together! Isn’t that what counts?
Right now you might be in the midst of a disaster. Your life might be filled with pain and disappointment. But know this – there’s a better day coming. Revelation 19:7 says “Let us rejoice... Heaven’s groom is getting a bride.” And we get to live with Him forever. That’s something to celebrate!
Have a great week!