January Joy Dare: A Gift Worn, Given Away, Shared

A Gift Worn

The heart knot ring that my husband gave me a few years ago. When I look down at this ring, I’m reminded of the oneness in marriage. Josh and I are bound together by promise, a God-ordained promise. 

Two weekends ago, Josh officiated his third wedding. As I sat on the back row watching him, our wedding day came to mind. Dating, the engagement months prior to marriage, the anticipation of being one flesh…and then it arrived. We stood before man and God and pledged our lives to one another. Imperfections, dreams, presuppositions, theology, families, and pasts all collided. Watching Josh from a distance as he lead our dear friends in a ceremony that will forever change their lives caused the butterflies in my stomach all over again. How providential that I am his and he is mine. 

Over the past couple of days, I have been contemplating God’s sovereignty in Rebekah’s life while reading through Genesis according to my and Josh’s bible reading plan for 2014. I have always loved reading the divine orchestration of her uniting with Isaac. In chapter 24 we see Abraham’s servant journey to the city of Nahor according to the oath he made with his master to find a wife for Isaac. Prior to departing, Abraham affirms God’s plan for Isaac to have a wife from his kindred as opposed to a Canaanite in verse 7 – “The LORD, the God of Heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my kindred, and who spoke to me and swore to me ‘To your offspring I will give this land,’ he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there.” He is telling his servant that this will happen even as the servant voices his concern about the woman not following him back. As the servant waits at the well, he prays specifically that God will allow a woman to come and draw water. Even before he concludes his prayer, Rebekah appears and does all that he had requested of the Lord that she would do. AmazingPredetermined-will-of-God-amazing. Though Rebekah was without knowledge of the oath between Abraham and his servant, God had appointed her to arrive at the well to draw water so that his will for her to marry Isaac would come to pass. No coincidence. The servant explains God’s sovereignty in the whole situation to Rebekah’s family (verses 34-49). They see that this is from the LORD and gave the blessing for Rebekah to wed Isaac. Rebekah immediately travels back with the servant. 

And now my favorite part: 

“And Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening. And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold. there were camels coming. And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from the camel and said to the servant, “Who is that man, walking in the field to meet us?” The servant said, “It is my master.” So she took her veil and covered herself. And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. Then Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother and took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death” (Gen. 24:63-67.) 

This is so sweet to me! A marriage created so that God’s ultimate plan to bless Abraham and make him a great nation (namely through the coming Messiah) would come to pass! And Rebekah’s submission to the will of God is beautiful to me, one of which I wish to cloth myself with. I cannot imagine such an arranged marriage. It’s opposite of everything our culture suggests. Yes, this was a very different time and place, but our God is the same. His hand in our day-to-day affairs is present. Isaac the Patriarch and his wife, Rebekah, obviously hold a very significant role in the coming of Christ. Matthew 1 notes Christ’s lineage of which they and their offspring are included. However, their biblical significance doesn’t mean that God plays any less of a role in marriages today. The message of Jesus permeates through marriage then, now and until The Marriage Supper of The Lamb. God created it. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is to flourish through it. Marriage is the single most significant man-to-man relationship one can experience that even touches the hems of the communion within the Trinity. What a glorious Oneness to be shadowing! 

God orchestrated all the events that led up to my uniting with Josh. Not smart dating tactics or any other attempts man could try and muster for self-boasting. God guided our steps. And now he sustains them as we are still learning to walk together. One flesh- one knot. 

 

A Gift Given Away

Thank-you notes. Currently, after-Christmas thank-you notes. I love writing them! I love snail mail. There has always been something so sweet, childlike, and exciting to me about running to the mailbox and finding a handwritten letter from a dear friend. It says “you are cherished and worth being pursued” or at least that’s what I think as I write letters to those I feel compelled to thank. 

A Gift Shared

My home, the church parsonage. I love having people over. From Theology Tuesdays with the youth in our living room to sweet meals with our best friends, this parsonage has been a joy to share with those God has placed in our lives. Throughout the course of my blogging, Josh and I have lived in four different places. Apartment, Apartment, duplex, house. There’s nothing like being in a house. Honestly, we never thought we would be or at least not for a very long time! Our goal has been to move overseas and living in an actual house wouldn’t be so feasible. Don’t get me wrong, each location we have lived in has been a home for us, but having the freedom of a house with a yard to play in and a garden to grow (wow, maybe this year I I can get more than just tomatoes to survive!) just sings symphony music to me. We don’t even want to own a house. That makes this parsonage a gift all the more. As our lives seem busier than ever before, God has blessed us with a place to reside and share with others where we don’t have to have any external stress from our surrounding environment. No break-ins downstairs or overheard yelling from our neighbors. Our sweet girl can rest soundly and so can we. I can’t say this enough- what a blessing! 

My hope for sharing my home is that it will be a living organism to the community. A place where the Gospel can flourish and struggle can be dealt with. A place where we don’t just stand at the door and chat but we move to the kitchen table and do life together. A place where things can get messy and we can be okay with that. My prayer for 2014 is for more opportunities to share my home, even if that may seem nearly impossible with another baby coming 🙂 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “January Joy Dare: A Gift Worn, Given Away, Shared

  1. So beautiful Melissa! So weird because I started Genesis too, but I haven’t gotten to Rebekah just yet. I’m also reading Charles Spurgeon’s sermons over women of the Bible.

    I’m so glad we can share in each other’s joys through our blogs! Thank you for you sweet comment! I love you very much!

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