During worship, God was reminding me of my union with Christ… the joy found in that truth… and how marriage and baptism are both a picture of that union. I didn’t expect baptism to remind me of marriage (especially since I’m not married), but here’s what was going through my mind…
1. it is a public display – I am commited to this person forever and I want everyone to know.
2. it is a time of rejoicing corporately – the entire church joined in the celebration… they rejoiced, they clapped, they gave hugs galore!!!
3. some people laugh and hoop and holler, some cry. Not a big surprise here, but I was the latter. :)
4. in a wedding, your dad typically gives you away. in baptism, my spriritual leader, friend and pastor had the honor of baptising me. You could see in his eyes that he was rejocing with me, you could sense and feel it as he hugged me, and smiled and cried. so much was wrapped up in that moment. He cares for my soul with such excellence. God has lavishly blessed our church with not just one amazing leader, but three! what a gift. I am grateful beyond words.
5. it reveals the levels and depths of friendships – some stand close by your side in a wedding… some just hug you for all its worth while they are in their church clothes and you’re sopping wet. at that moment, the last 5 years re-entered my mind… a friendship that has been formed by only God’s grace alone… a friendship sweeter than I ever could have asked for. the main reason I had the honor of even standing there at that moment, dripping and smelling of chlorine, was because of how God worked in and through my sweet friend, Jessica Britt. Her patience, love and care is what led me to Christ. Her example made the gospel appealing to me – a sinner who had until that moment been content to wallow in my sin. So, Jess (since I know you’re reading this)… thank you. Thank you for obeying the Spirit when He asked you to reach out to me. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your ongoing care over the past 5 (but especially the last 2 1/2 years). I’m not the same person that I was 5 years ago as a result. I pray that God lavishly, richly blesses you. I pray you feel His pleasure. I pray that I will be able to be the same friend to another struggling hopeless visitor, that you were to me.
It was a beautiful day. Every testimony given made me cry. God’s grace is not merely great enough to reach into our sin-ravaged lives, He does it in a specific, personal, tender, caring, intimate way. Just like no proposal is the same… no salvation is the same.
Jesus truly is sweet. It is an honor to call Him mine. It is a joy to be in union with Him. It is my delight to serve Him. What a joy. What a splendid time of sweetness that has begun.
To be honest, I didn’t expect all that…