Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.” Ephesians 1:4
I was as surprised as she was. One on the wonderful things about Key Colony and the Continental Inn happens every day about twelve hours apart. The place where we stay has a small private sand beach. Now that doesn’t sound too impressive until you realize that sand beaches aren’t that common in the Florida Keys. Most often when you make it to the shore, you find it covered with large rocks. In fact, that was our first experience many years ago. The kids were young, and we drove down from Naples where we were staying. When we arrived, we rushed to the “beach” only to find it covered with large rocks. Bummer.
At the Inn there is glorious sand and an abundance of clear water. Both are amazing. But here is the special part. The beach faces the east which means every morning there is a beautiful sunrise. Every day I would go out with a cup of coffee while the water was like glass, and it was still dark. The fingernail moon would be there offering little light but plenty of beauty and the stars glimmered in the dark night sky. And slowly, God gave birth to a new and beautiful day. Every morning I would say, “This is the day the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it.” At that point it was a blank canvas, but I knew the Maker of masterpieces would be painting that day and He works wonders…always.
So, the sun would rise and about twelve hours later it would take it’s bow and night, a time of rest, would come. Everything is beautiful in it’s time. Now here is the part you have to love. Every evening Judy and I would walk out the front parking lot, go about 100 yards and there was Sunset Park. It was a small peninsula where the community had set up benches and built a small pier, and folks gather there to watch the sunset. Imagine that. A place where you can watch the sunrise over the water in the morning then walk a short distance and see the sun set…again over water. It was amazing.
On our second night, something magical happened. Again, people gather at Sunset Park every evening to watch the sunset. This particular night I noticed, actually almost bumped into, a group of four young people. I nodded and smiled, and they did the same. Judy and I found our favorite bench and the group of four chose to stand about fifteen feet from us. They were smiling…as were we. It is a moment to enjoy…and then it got better.
About that time, I heard laughter of joy and looked over as one of the young men slipped an engagement ring on the left hand of the “one” he had chosen. It was a total surprise for her and for us. I don’t know if I have ever experienced this event as a stranger looking on and in, but it was a beautiful moment. She was laughing and jumping, and they were hugging and celebrating. Their friends, who were in on the surprise, were beaming from ear to ear. And, all this is happening in a beautiful waterfront setting as God puts His seal of approval on another day. It was glorious.
When it was time to go, Judy and I walked over and congratulated the young couple and told them it was their lucky day since I was a pastor, and we could seal the deal right then. I shared about five lines from the traditional ceremony I use, and we all laughed together. What a wonderful moment. I think the joy of it all might be summed up in one word…chosen. You see, the young man chose her to be his. Out of all the girls in his world…he chose this one to spend his life with. And…she chose him by saying, “Yes.”
It is a wonderful thing to be chosen and never is that more beautiful than when we realize that God chose to love us…He chose us to be His bride. If we are willing to accept His invitation to be His, like her, our lives will never be the same. To be loved like that is the greatest of all gifts. God didn’t have to love us…He chose to love us. We were scarred by sin and brokenness and yet He saw in us beauty. We weren’t worthy of His love and yet He still extended it and to Him each of us are as beautiful as a bride on her wedding day.
Being chosen is a glorious thing and I hope you have accepted God’s invitation to be His beloved. Remember, no matter how scarred your life may seem you will always be beautiful in His eyes. And this marriage, well, it can never go south. Sadly, many marriages don’t end well, but He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. He will be yours and you will be His…forever. If you haven’t already, why not accept His proposal today? He is patiently waiting for you to say, “Yes.” And, when you do, you will find Someone who will walk by your side no matter what…One who believes in you, One who loves you, and who will whisper security and assurance with six simple words…I’ve got you and no matter what, I’ve got this. Bro. Dewayne