I had a dream one night where I was attending a couple’s wedding banquet and I was helping prepare the table for the party. I was SO excited about spending time at this party with my husband. To just sit and laugh with him. I was anxiously awaiting his arrival. As the other guests began to arrive and fill the table, filled with hope and anticipation I kept watching for my husband. As the table filled up and the seats I had saved just for my Beloved and I were taken by two other guests, I held onto my last shred of hope, maybe he’s just running late, he’ll be here, he loves me. But as the party raged on and dinner dishes were cleared I watched from a back corner of the room hurt and dejected. He never came. Finally the gifts were opened and the guests began to depart two by two. Smiles beaming from the joy of fellowship everyone had shared. It was at THAT point that my Beloved came strolling in… after the party was over.
Jesus excitedly prepares a bridal banquet for each of us every morning, anxiously awaiting us to join Him at the table to commune with Him. He’s got seats saved for us, with our meal lovingly prepared. Yet so many times He waits in vain for those of us who leave Him standing in the corner of the room, hurt and rejected watching everyone else have a great time at the banquet.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have done this to my LORD. Over and over He’s invited me to banquet with Him and I’ve rejected His invitation because I was too busy or too sleepy. Or worse, I’ve accepted the invitation but never showed up! And each time He stands there, waiting for me, sometimes all day. And yet it never fails that I STILL get an invitation to the banquet for the next day! WHY does He do that? Why would He put himself through all that rejection? The pain? Why does He keep inviting me instead of just giving up on me? I just don’t get it!
But I guess that’s just it. THAT is grace. He NEVER gives up on us. Never. Ever. Ever. Love is patient, and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice in injustice but rejoices whenever truth wins out. Love NEVER gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.