“Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;
be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;
for you will forget the shame of your youth,
and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
For your Maker is your husband,
the Lord of hosts is his name;
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
the God of the whole earth he is called.
For the Lord has called you
like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit,
like a wife of youth when she is cast off,
says your God.
For a brief moment I deserted you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing anger for a moment
I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,”
says the Lord, your Redeemer. (Isaiah 54:4-8 ESV)
Reading through the Bible last year, I came across this text and it struck me with such force that I have never recovered. If this passage ministers to you, then you may know what I mean when I say that out of my utter brokenness I was completely healed by the power of union with my Maker. No relationship is as dear as the marriage relationship. All relationships have their place and importance, and understanding and believing that Jesus is Savior and Lord and placing trust in him for redemption is the most important step in every human’s life. But to understand God’s deep love and purpose for my soul I must be united with him in the bond of marriage. The “Bride of Christ” is not just a word picture. Human marriage as described in Ephesians 5 is an echo of the relationship already in action between Christ and the church. I tried to flip the order at first. I wanted my human marriage to be most important in rank and then my soul union with God. And as God graciously revealed this flaw in my life, I was faced with the reality that I had placed expectations on God. Like, “please give me healthy relationships and then out of my gratitude I will fully worship Jesus.” What I found out about God was that he doesn’t work on my terms – huge surprise there. Reading through the whole Bible, I was faced with a new picture of God – a picture so huge and life altering that I’ll never figure it all out, but I’m hungry for more. So then when my life started to slowly come apart at the seems, instead of blaming God, I was able to see his invitation. An invitation to knowing him more, knowing him as husband. He truly loves my soul and provides for me in a way that no human relationship ever can. Now I hear the echo of Ephesians 5 correctly. It isn’t a dissonance only to become beautiful in heaven – it is the truest harmony of life in the right order.
If this doesn’t echo with your heart, will you consider that maybe the reason you are restless and unhappy is not because of your broken relationships with people but your soul’s deep longing for more of God. Don’t wait to be grateful, worship your Maker/husband now.