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The Rest of the Speech

September 25, 2011

Our family had the pleasure of attending the wedding of my son Isaac his beautiful new bride Kaitlyn just about a week ago.  We were able to meet Kaitlyn’s family and found them to be wonderful folks with a strong family bond.  We were grateful for the way that they and the other folks at their church made us feel welcome, and we are especially grateful for how they have taken to Isaac.

I was given the honor of addressing the bride and groom during their reception.  I had meant to speak to the Master of Ceremonies before the evening began to get a feel for what events were planned before and more importantly after I would speak, but I failed to make the contact.  Consequently, not knowing what or who might follow me, I left off a bit of what I had planned to say, not wanting to go too long or too sentimental for the other parts of the evening’s program.  As soon as I sat down, however, I regretted the decision to do so, and I am still fairly bursting with something to say.   After a little further reflection, I thought that I would jot down the rest of the speech and put it here.  So, Isaac and Kaitlyn, this is for you.

As I said the other night, your mother and I have been pleased and proud of the way that you have given God his rightful place in so many of your life decisions.  No one has ever ultimately regretted a choice made in which God is honored and given His place.  God always gives you light for the next right step.  Walk in the light of His word, and you will walk a path of blessing.

The Bible tells us “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”  When we ponder this verse, we often think in terms of what heaven will be like someday.  But I believe that God is telling us that the earthly path of a life yielded to Him will experience grace and blessing beyond anything you can imagine – perhaps not in terms of material possession, but certainly in terms of joy and peace and contentment and rest.

Now you are stepping out to begin a life together.  We are thrilled for you in so many ways, but perhaps most exciting is our anticipation of how God will shape your life and build a more profound relationship between the two of you and with Himself.

Over the coming months and years, you will experience the very trying process of learning to walk together.  You may be wondering how any part of your life ahead could ever be a trial now that you are finally together.  God never intended it be so.  Adam and Eve lived in blessed harmony as they enjoyed a perfect creation and unveiled fellowship with their creator.  Unfortunately, due to their failure we live in a fallen planet and must now deal with our own corrupt and selfish flesh.

But the way ahead is neither hopeless, nor need it be grim.  As I mentioned before, God will always provide light for the next right step.  God will teach you that surrendering your own way and giving up your right to “make your point” during an argument will bring His grace into your lives together in ways that you have not yet known.  He says that He gives grace to the humble, and as is so often true in our Christian walk, the way up starts with a step down.  If you will let God teach you, you will learn all about your own stubborn pride, and if you will chose the way of your savior, you will learn to forsake that pride and experience God’s wonderful grace in your marriage.

This fallen planet will rarely give you any breaks.  Now that you are stepping out into a life of your own, you will learn that the best laid plans often lay in shambles before the journey is complete.  Your money will run out before your bills do.  Your time will run out before your plans for the evening do.  Your energy will run out before your responsibilities do.  That is just the way life goes in a sin-cursed world.  But there is no lack of hope and grace with God.  He always has light for the next right step.  It is within the crucible of shortened resources that God will teach you to trust Him like never before.  You will find Him to be always faithful in supplying your needs.  When you reach the end of your rope, don’t just “tie a knot and hang on.”  Learn to flee to your God.  You will never find a problem too big for Him.  He can do anything.

Your mom and I look forward to the day, Lord willing, that He gives you a precious new life to raise up for His glory.  There are no words to describe the joy and delight that children will bring to your home.  Nor is it possible to describe the overwhelming sense of responsibility and uncertainty that you will experience the first time you lay that little one down for the night.  But God always provides light for the next right step.  The things that He will teach you will make all the other lessons to pale.  You will learn a whole new meaning to the word Love.  You will learn to deny yourself and give to another in ways that you cannot now imagine.  You will learn that even after a weary, sleepless night, dawn will always come and bring hope.  And you will learn to pray like you never have prayed before.

God is so faithful.  You can trust Him at every turn.  One day by his grace, you will stand where we did so recently and reflect on God’s goodness as one of your own steps out to join heart to another and begin a life journey.  You will look back and see God’s blessing so clearly.  He is such a wonderful God.  Take his path.  It will never bring you regret.  Mom and I love you both, and we will be praying for you every day.

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