For years I’ve kind of known this truth. I’ve heard it, seen it, believed it — even passed it on to others. But now I really know. I get it, in a way I never did before…
The importance of nurturing and savoring and celebrating our most important relationships.
Last year, at the age of 42, I finally met the man I’m going to marry – and to many people (us included) our love story is like a fairy tale.
But six months before the wedding, I’m telling you – it’s next to crazy impossible to juggle an already-full life and ministry and career, and make room for someone else who already has all of those things!
There is so much stretching and growing. So much planning and preparation, both for the wedding and our future life together.
I know if I’m not careful, I can find myself focused so much on tasks and responsibilities and to-do lists, that I forget to enjoy our time together. I can allow myself to get so tired and worn out, that everything starts to feel like duty, obligation, or sacrifice. I can be tempted to write a paragraph about the things he’s not done (or doing) for me, and completely ignore the pages and pages of things he has done (and is doing).
Completely forgetting the miracle that he’s in my life at all.
See what I mean?
I’ve heard this truth about love relationships — and how they parallel our spiritual lives — but now I’m living it.
Enter Psalm 45.
It was originally composed as special music for a royal wedding… probably for one of David’s sons, maybe Solomon. But like all Scripture, it’s God-breathed — anointed and inspired by Him, and laden with meaning that the original writer may or may not have understood at the time (2 Timothy 3:16).
The writer of Hebrews identifies this Psalm as a Messianic Psalm – one that’s actually prophetically speaking of Jesus (Hebrews 1:8-9).
The first part of the Psalm celebrates the glory of the Bridegroom.
The Psalmist draws attention to all of His wonderful attributes… His handsomeness, His gracious speech or grace-filled Word, His splendor and majesty as King, His bravery as a Mighty Warrior, His fierceness in battle and triumph over His enemies (sin, death, the devil and his demons). His love of justice, righteousness, and truth. His integrity as a ruler. His prosperity and the blessing or anointing of God the Father over His life.
How important it is to remember just how wonderful He really is – this Man we’ve fallen in love with, the One we’ve pledged our hearts and lives to! To praise Him and celebrate Him and savor His goodness.
The second part of the Psalm celebrates the glory of the Bride – which is us, His people, His Church.
“Listen to me, O royal daughter; take to heart what I say, forget your people and your family far away…”
Our old life is gone, along with its sin and shame. We have been set free, redeemed, made new and clean and beautiful (Ephesians 5:25-27). And we belong to Him now.
“For your royal Husband delights in your beauty; honor Him, for He is your Lord.”
Sometimes the biggest challenge is to realize how much He loves us… to really believe that He does love us – that He delights in us. That He sees us as beautiful.
When we feel ugly or unworthy or lacking somehow, it’s tempting to try to dismiss that Love, to hold Him at arm’s length or to push Him away.
But we don’t have to go off and look in a mirror and work up a way to see beauty in ourselves. We don’t have to search to find within ourselves something loveable or redeemable. Yes, we all have our own kind of beauty and we all have unique personalities and gifts and talents and strengths…
But Jesus doesn’t love us because we’re beautiful.
We’re beautiful because He loves us.
He doesn’t love us because He’s able to see the good in us – even if we can’t.
There’s goodness in us, because He loved us when there was none.
Any good in us is because of Him. And any beauty in us was put there originally by the Beholder – and is magnified and intensified by the love He has for us.
Unlike other lovers, He isn’t blind. He sees us as we truly are… and can be… and will be, as we blossom and flourish under His tender loving care.
How can we not want to honor Him?
How can we not nurture and celebrate and savor this Great Love?
Virtual VBS for GrownUp Girls Assignment
Today is the second week of our free online summer Bible study, Virtual VBS for GrownUp Girls® ~ Summer in the Psalms. If you’re participating, here are your instructions for this week…
Choose a reading plan:
1) Soaking in the Psalms ~ Savor 4 Psalms a week. This week’s Psalms are Psalm 27, 40, 42, and 45.
Remember, this is “active reading” – asking questions as you read, underlining key words and phrases, making note of things that come to mind. Journal about verses that speak to you. For more tips, see Five Simple Ways to Focus on the Words You Read.
2) Surfing through the Psalms ~ Read through the entire book of Psalms during our six-week study. To do this, you need to read 25 Psalms a week, roughly 3-4 a day. So this week, read Psalms 26-50 (which includes the “Soaking” Psalms above).
Review Questions: Answer these questions in a journal, in your heart, or in a group (if you’re meeting with friends to do this study together).
- What’s one thing you’ve learned from our study of the Psalms this week? What’s significant about it or why is it meaningful to you?
- According to Psalm 40, how should we respond to our trials? What should we do? Where should we turn? How should we respond to God’s deliverance? How will others respond? (There are two different reactions). Note: The answers to these questions are multi-layered – they’re developed and expanded on, from the beginning to the end of the psalm — so don’t stop at the first one you find!
- Has there been a time in your life when you felt like the writer of Psalm 42? What were the circumstances? What did you do? What did God do? What does the Psalmist do, in response to his “dark night of the soul”? (If you’re in a time like this right now, you might find some encouragement in this post: Are You Talking to Yourself?)
Just joining us? You can catch up by reading past posts on our Virtual VBS for GrownUp Girls® Archive page or by hitting the “back” button at the bottom of this post and scrolling through. Or jump in where we are now!
And stay tuned for our first Fun Friday!!!