I have a confession to make. But before I share it with you, let’s visit a stage where someone’s lamp was snuffed out too soon. I want to invite you to explore the world of Madame Butterfly with me. Picture how devastating it would be to put your faith in someone who turned out to be unfaithful. Picture how hard it would be to discover your dream of spending your life with someone was dashed by a divorce and then darkened further by news a new spouse had already replaced you.
Now picture how much harder it would be if single-parenthood was part of your imperfect picture.
On a dark and drizzly day in January while I prepared a family favorite in my kitchen I listened to a story on CBC radio about a woman whose mother had experienced a similar situation. So, of course, she was intrigued by the story of Madam Butterfly.
As I mixed eggs, milk, and crushed crackers together before adding grated carrot, onion, and cheddar cheese, the speaker’s words on the radio made the opera ’s characters seem real—seem true. As I followed her narrative, tears (not prompted by the onions) followed the feelings that were stirred in me.
I folded lean ground beef into the mixture that was waiting in the large stainless-steel bowl, and then I sprinkled some freshly ground pepper, and crushed basil in as well. Her words hummed melancholy in the background as I scooped the meatloaf into a casserole dish and placed it in the preheated oven. Feeling depressed by the saga I turned the radio off and wrote myself a note to investigate this topic further; I wanted to tap into my tears. But not right then, so I returned to writing and editing other projects first.
Several days later, after having spent two exhausting but fulfilling days taking care of a rambunctious and cuddly toddler-grandson, I returned to my computer and opened my Word Docs to follow up on my tears. First, however, I took a detour to Wikipedia and learned more about Madame Butterfly. And that’s when I found out how the story ended. And that’s when I cried again. For you see, I confess I’m not a huge fan of opera. I didn’t know what happened next because I’ve never sat through an entire performance before—ever.
Now that I’ve confessed my lack of cultural refinement, I want to tell you who dried my tears: Jesus. He is the groom who not only gets the bride—He keeps her. Forever love is the only kind of love God bestows on the Bride of Christ. No one and nothing will get in the way of this love. We can put all our hope on Him because He will keep every promise He made to us.
No matter how much we have suffered in earthly relationships our relationship with Jesus is safe and secure from divorce, abandonment, or replacement.
He keeps His word because He is the Living Word.
There’s no need for anyone to take their own life; Jesus let His life be taken so we could have everlasting life in Him. No man, woman, or child is worth us abandoning our hope. Faith in the Father will be rewarded with immeasurably more than anything we’ve suffered in this life.
Being born-again means dying to self. It doesn’t necessarily mean dying. When we do die, it’s simply a shedding of this earthly shell to rise on the wings of God’s love given to us through an immortal body He’ll bestow upon us.
Yes, the One we’re waiting for will not disappoint. He is the perfect Bridegroom and Prince of Peace. And He’s piecing together a beautiful forever home for His betrothed. When the Father tells the Son it’s ready, the trumpet of Jesus will sound and the Bride will be called forth to unite with her Hero.
Now that’s worth keeping our lamps trimmed and ready for.
Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet … Luke 12:35-36 NIV
And now I’d like to close with a poem:
Sorrow need not speed our death
For God’s Son died for us
Heartache need not steal our hope
For it’s secure in the Lord Jesus
Trials need not take our joy
For we only rejoice in God
Suffering need not snuff out our peace
For real peace is found in the Rock.
I’m nosy-to-know which promise of God you’re most grateful for lately? Do you enjoy opera?
Butterfly Blessings ~ Wendy Mac