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The Runaway Bride

By Jennifer E. Jones

What is so scary about getting married? So you’re committing your life to another human being -- "‘till death do us part." What in the world is so frightening about that? Is it that bad that a case of cold feet would send you running across the country just days before your wedding day?

I guess I come from a narrow perspective. I’m single and steadily approaching 30. Marriage to me is something you run toward. For many it's a goal, and with every bridal shower invitation you get, it becomes a little more important every year.

Love seems so magical: butterflies in your stomach, stars in your eyes, and warmth in your heart. It’s what little (and big) girls dream about.

So I ask again, if you’ve got such a good thing, why are trying to avoid it like a prison sentence?

I may never understand what makes a bride “ready to run”. But I can imagine that God must look at us with the same quizzical expression.

Hebrews 13:8 says that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He’s the groom standing patiently at the altar. Whether we’ve locked ourselves in the bridal chamber, refusing to come out, or we’re halfway to Tijuana, He’s always there.

If God the Father had feet, they’d never get cold. His love for us never waivers. That’s because His commitment to us goes deeper than a marriage vow. He made a covenant with us when He sent His Son to the cross that no matter what, He’d always be there for us. In fact, He did us one better and promised that if things got really crazy, He’d come find us and bring us home. Without condemnation, He would pull us in and hold us even closer than before. On top of everything else, He promises strength for every trial (Phil. 4:13), a refuge in any storm (Psalm 91:1), and abundant life for all times (John 10:10).

So why would anyone want to give that up for life on the open road? Sounds pretty silly, doesn’t it?

We have all kinds of reasons why we run from God. A pastor let us down. The relationship we prayed for fell apart anyway. Or maybe we just got burned out from giving our all when little came in return.

When our eyes are focused on our feet, it’s hard to see what else is around us. We can look up and be far from home before we realize it. Without meaning to, we let faith become routine, and suddenly we’re a lost bride with a bus ticket to nowhere.

If you’re on the run, relax for a moment. You’ve still got your white dress and your bouquet. All you’re running from is unconditional love and a peace that passes all understanding.

So come back to the church. He’s waiting for you.

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