It’s June. And from notes and prayer requests I’m seeing on facebook, it’s clear that the greatest fear that a bride faces as her big day approaches– is rain.
And sure enough, after such sunny, warm, beautiful weather all of last week, those miserable clouds began to gather and forecasts sounded ominous just as we were preparing for the outdoor wedding of a close friend this past weekend.
As the morning of the wedding day dawned overcast and threatening, the decision was made to go ahead and set up the ceremony site inside, so we did. Planning out the contingency, everybody set diligently to work to accommodate the changes that were necessary– moving furniture, squeezing seating together, deciding where the musicians would be situated, where the bridesmaids would enter from, where the bride would make her grand entrance, where the reception food and seating would be arranged…
But as the morning marched on, skies didn’t seem to look that bad. So plans changed back to the original one, and the ceremony site was re-set once more outside, decorated and prepared on the huge lawn. Tables for the reception, the buffet, and the wedding cake were set up inside, “just in case.”
By the time the wedding was about to begin, everything looked beautiful! I couldn’t believe it had all gotten done so perfectly on time, and all looked so incredibly gorgeous! The ceremony site was stunning with white floral arrangements, the ceremony platform framed with floral and tulle wreathing. The reception tables were breathtaking in white linen, sea-blue satin runners, centerpieces of beautiful large vases with floating white roses and sea-blue crystals accented with pearls. The layered wedding cake was studded with hundreds of fondant pearls– absolutely stunning! The food was set out, beautifully arranged in the buffet… everything looked gorgeous! Perfect! Every detail was ready!
And that’s when the thick clouds began to gather.
Just when the wedding was supposed to start, heavy rain began to pour down from ominous skies. As they arrived, guests were ushered to one of two large covered decks to wait out the rain. But what amazed me– truly amazed me!– was that everyone was not only calm, but cheerful! Guests chatted together, enthralled by the delightful drama that would certainly make this wedding a memorable one. Some even felt that the rain was “romantic”… a dramatic affect to the tender celebration. When hail was added to the mix, even the bride herself just started to laugh… This was crazy!
For about 20 minutes everyone watched the storm, enthralled. Then just as expected, the rain moved on, the clouds began to clear from the sky– and the sun broke through!
Several men grabbed towels and quickly dried off the seats, set up speakers and musical instruments… the music began… guests were seated… and the wedding began. Flawlessly.
It was beautiful! Absolutely beautiful!
At the close of the ceremony, both the bride’s and the groom’s dads prayed a blessing on this new marriage. In his prayer, the groom’s father made a wonderful reference to the fact that marriage will undeniably hold days of sunshine, as well as days of rain– but for the husband and his wife, their strength would be in facing those days together. Could this possibly have been planned? It was awesome! It was as though the rain and then the breaking sun had been a dramatic emphasis of the picture of their new life together, and the purpose for their marriage! I was incredulous.
Of course, it turned out to be a very good thing that the reception had been set up inside after all. The tables still looked gorgeous, and nothing was lost in the rain storm. Nothing. We celebrated, laughed, talked, listened, ate, rejoiced…. and completely enjoyed this very special day.
After, I wondered why in the world I had felt any worry at all. When we believe in a Sovereign God Who truly does all things well, the whole picture changes. Yes, I had prayed for a day that would glorify God and reflect His pleasure for this marriage. And it did. It truly, truly did.
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