Tradition suggests bronze or chili pepper roses for our 19th wedding anniversary. We certainly don’t need another bronze sculpture. You’re not one for chili peppers or flowers so chili pepper roses seemed especially uninspiring. And you’d rather get your fine jewelry from Target’s clearance rack.
So, what’s a husband to do? This husband can offer what he does least worst: words. Lots of words. They may not be as hot or spicy, but I pray they are as tasty.
My Queen, you have spent the last 19 years on a mission field. You have served that field faithfully for the glory of Christ. It’s not been easy. No mission field ever is. There are hard hearts and dull ears. Days of want and days of woe.
But there are days when a shaft of Zion’s light punctures the clouds like a spear. We remember when and where this all started. And why. So God gives hope. God gives courage. God has given us 19 years together to prepare us for eternity with Jesus.
You have cultivated fallow ground, sown righteous seeds, tended the garden in grace, pruned gnarly branches, and patiently–ever so patiently–waited for fruit. Perhaps after nearly two decades of hardscrabble love you can faintly taste some of the harvest.
You have done a million unseen things in so Jesus would be seen through them. The Father has seen every move and is keeping score (Mt 6.4, 6, 18). I’ve not acknowledged, much less honored, most of what you do. I hope you’ll forgive me (again). But I pray God sustains you with gospel hope. After all, you have a better Husband on the way (Eph 5.25-30) and He’s not missed a thing.
You deserve far more praise than you get. You give far more than you’ve receive. That looks and sounds like Jesus. If you might allow a little license, if I were to ever ask “the King” when exactly I saw Jesus in this life (Mt 25.34-40), he will say “You woke up next to him every morning.” My Queen, “inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Mt 25.34).
We know better than to categorically expect 19 more years. We may not have 19 more days together. But we have today. So we soak in as much grace as we can today. We rejoice that our marriage, however long it takes for death to separate us, has been and will ever be the vaporesque betrothal period for the wedding we have always wanted (Rev 19.7-8). You have spent the last 19 years helping us get ready.
Amen, Come, Lord Jesus. Our Queen is ready and waiting.