Sunday, January 16th, the day that I got to see my only daughter get married, will go down in my memory as a “perfect day”! In fact, I have described it as a dream, a fairytale, the best day ever…She wore a beautiful white dress; they exchanged heart-felt vows, pledging their love to each other in a truly genuine ceremony that honored God and provided a small glimpse of the wonder of this idea of “two becoming one”. However, we all know that there is no such thing as “perfect” on this side of heaven. In fact, there were numerous little things that did not go “perfectly” that day, but I didn’t notice, or rather I noticed that they did not matter! As a person who struggles often with agonizing over the little things that go wrong, the question is, how was I able to see this day as “flawless”?
I can claim this for two reasons: The first is PRAYER. You see, I had numerous friends, family and other brothers and sisters in Christ praying for the details, the dynamics, and the actual event, and I am 100% sure that this is THE reason why things came together, and I was able to enjoy the moments. There is no way I would have made it without the prayers, support and helping hands that were provided to make this day “perfect”!
The second reason is ENCOURAGEMENT. Besides prayer, I am profoundly moved by the number of texts and words of encouragement that were sent my way. I have always heard that “joy shared increases” and that is exactly what happened. As people shared in the experience, it made the day all the more sweet! I literally smiled the whole day, even my tears were happy! As I reflect on this day, I am forever grateful for the prayers and people who helped make this day special for our family, but I am most of all thankful to God who “has made everything beautiful in its time.”
Almost every experience we go through has the potential to teach us something, and this wedding extravaganza is no different. In fact, there are a couple of significant life lessons I learned that I plan to put into action moving forward.
Lesson One: The power of praying for others can not be understated! In James chapter 5, this Biblical truth is clearly stated: Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up… The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
As I write this blog, I have a 38 year old nephew, Zach Adams, who is fighting for his life at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. (please pray for his complete healing). There are believers all over the world praying for him. These prayers for his healing are offered by faith out of obedience to God, but they are also providing strength for his family in this very difficult time. Whether we are in a time of great trials or a time of wonderful celebration, the prayers of fellow believers are powerful and life-giving. This wedding experience reminded me once again that prayer is key, so I am more committed than ever to praying earnest, specific prayers for others because I know it works!!
Lesson Two: Intentional encouragement strengthens us exponentially. The writer of Hebrews brings this to light: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
When we as believers truly make encouragement a habit, it makes a significant difference in others’ experience of hope and joy. Whether someone is going through the worst of times or the best of times, the power of a word of encouragement or a tangible act of kindness makes the load lighter and/or brighter. God knew we would need each other which is why he modeled life in community and why he birthed the church. Just this one experience of a simple wedding truly reignited my belief in the importance of a community of believers. I felt hopeful as the day drew nearer because of the encouragement, and on the actual day, I felt a heightened sense of joy because of those who shared it with me! In the same way, the grief shared in a recent loss gave us strength to carry on. So whether it is during happy times or sad times, encouragement has power to lift the soul. My experience during this season has made me more committed than ever to live a life of intentionality. To take time out of my often “too busy” schedule to encourage and love on others who are going through some life event because I know what a difference it makes!
The wedding was “perfect”! . But not because all went down without a hitch but rather because of the prayers, encouragement, support and love of others in the body of Christ. “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Col. 3:14
PRAY FOR ZACH – take a look at these prayer bracelets https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfbuTXIjk8X9EfptYHh-PrEQFUIUU3uhQKeSKJ6tZTsQG-4zw/viewform?fbclid=IwAR2zDeYXGBu1m4tG8SAb9BY9y13O_NB3M4RWBYkBgkA6nQx6VrIvffmHO4c
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