Recently, at the wedding of a dear friend, I watched Ephesians 3:20 come to life before my very eyes. Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us …”
But before he wrote those life-changing words, he encouraged the church to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (verse 19), and he summed up his sentence with giving God the glory forever and ever (verse 21).
Last Sunday — in what I would portray as one of the most beautiful 30 minutes I’ve ever experienced — I sat in an old church pew overlooking the Ozarks, patiently waiting for my friend, Trish, to walk down the aisle. As she walked hand-in-hand with her proud father, I kept looking back at the groom to catch his expression. His face was radiant with eagerness to hold his beloved bride. Yep … I needed a tissue. Luckily for me, my friend, Suzette, was sitting between me and her husband, passing tissues to us both.
Rewind four years ago
My beautiful friend, Trish, had spent many years in an abusive marriage. How anyone could ever take advantage of such a warrior, I’ll never know, but nonetheless it happened. She’d been out of the marriage for a while, healing well and holding on to Christ for her hope. I think deep down she had a desire to find a husband who would serve the Lord and love her well, but she was learning to be content whether or not that happened.
Seeking the Lord for His will for her life, she heard that promise: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us …” That was the promise she needed to hear to know God wasn’t finished in her life just yet.
More than we can imagine
Her “more than she could imagine” showed up in a man named Jason, who vowed to love her the way Christ loves the Church for as long as they both shall live. (That’s the short version).
As I watched them read their vows to one another, it wasn’t about either of them. It was about Christ. It was about acknowledging a God who does more than we could ever ask or imagine. They didn’t make promises to one another they knew the flesh couldn’t keep. No, they acknowledged their weaknesses and vowed to seek Christ together in all they do.
Then they got on their knees, their backs facing the crowd, and served communion to each other. In that moment, there was no one else in the room but them and God. They broke bread together as brother and sister in Christ and as husband and wife. Pass the tissues please.
As I watched them — between wiping my tears and trying to avoid blowing my nose in the midst of a small church — I remember thinking, Lord … I want that. Send me a man who honors Christ like that.
Friends, we must not settle
I’ve had plenty of opportunities to settle for less than God’s best for me regarding a husband. Out of loneliness, I’ve been tempted to just give in and toss everything out the window. Sometimes being lonely really sucks. But it’s in those times that we have to hold on to God’s promises for us.
Six days before changing her last name, these were the words Trish posted on Facebook:
“Countdown is happening! Literally six days until I get to proudly claim his last name! In all my wildest dreams, I never imagined being treasured like this man loves and cares for me! Girls, I have learned a LOT of valuable lessons in my life, but one of the most important is: DO NOT SETTLE. Find a man who is intimately pursuing Jesus; who lives his life with integrity; who values the same things you value; who is humble and patient and kind to others. Find a man who is not afraid to stand for his convictions even if it means standing alone; and if you find a man with qualities like these, allow God to be at the helm of your relationship.”
These words leave nothing more to say. Do not settle. It’s the best decision you’ll ever make.
Trish and her husband at their wedding.