By Nathan Kline
There I was, standing before hundreds of people, crying my eyes out because of what I beheld. At four o’clock in the afternoon on August 18, 2012, my eyes flowed like Niagara Falls because the woman of my dreams was walking down the aisle, getting ready to marry me. As I watched her father walk her down in her floral-patterned, ivory dress I could not help but wonder what these next few moments meant for my future wife and me.
As our ceremony continued I don’t remember much of what the officiant said, but I remember when it came time to make our vows. I remember telling my wife that I would, from now into the future, take care of her needs, no matter the cost, because I love her.
A Vow with a Promise
In Jeremiah 31:31-37, the Lord addressed his people in the language of a wedding vow. He promised to be their guy and they would be his gal. The expression of this commitment to the people of Israel, despite their infidelity, gave the soon-to-be exiled party a hope for their future. This is a hope that the future will be better than the past—a hope centered on the knowledge that God keeps his promises, like a faithful husband to his wife on their wedding day.
A Hope in Progress
I often think back and wonder about my wedding day, probably like many other men, “Why was I crying a river over such a joyous occasion?” The truth of the matter is, I was crying because I was about to make a promise I planned to keep, entering into a new future with my wife.
There are occasions like this in our walk with God. God sees us walking down the aisle, and he is ready to make his promise to us—a promise to be faithful no matter the cost, all because he loves us. God’s love gives us a hope to cling to in our darkest times, just like the Israelites, even when we cannot see the whole future. God’s love, like a married couple’s love, is a hope for our future.
Nathan Kline is the Associate Minister at North Hills Christian Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he lives with his wife, Michelle.