"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." John 14:3
Today my thoughts revolve around love, romance and the intimate faithfulness of true love. This is the 25th anniversary of marrying my forever sweetheart, my husband.
It was in that frame of mind that I heard Brian Houston, pastor at Hillsong, Australia, speak the verse about Jesus going to prepare a place for me. In one of those moments I always treasure, I heard something new from my Lord Jesus, lover of my soul.
Every translation of that verse I have looked at so far contains some reference to getting a room ready or going to "prepare" a place. It's the word "prepare" that makes my spidey-sense tingle as my Holy Spirit sensors go on alert. Here's the nugget: you can't prepare a place, person or an event without thinking of your goal and motivation for the preparation. You can't spend the time necessary to get something ready without holding that person close in your thoughts and heart.
Memories come rolling back of our first anniversary. I was working full time at a stress-filled job at American Airlines. I had just recently given birth to our son and was still getting used to being a mommy along with being a stepmother to our teenage daughters. I suspected my husband was planning something and since I couldn't imagine him thinking of all the things I might need for a time away from home, I made sure I at least tucked away some make-up in my purse that Friday morning.
What I couldn't have guessed was how much time and preparation he had actually invested. My sweet husband had made all child arrangements and had ventured into my closet and dresser drawers to pick out clothing and accessories for the trip.
He whisked me away to a hotel in Dallas where my parents and I had enjoyed wonderful meals together in years past. He chose my wedding "going away dress" for me to wear that night and made arrangements for dinner in the restaurant. I remember his excitement at executing all his romantic plans. My sweetheart knew me well enough and loved me so intensely that he took time to prepare for the trip. I was in his thoughts as he made arrangements. I was in his heart as he planned out every sweet detail.
And so it occurred to me that my Jesus is doing the same thing. He is making a place ready for me and for you. Jesus experiences great excitement at the thought of our delight when we see what He has readied for us there in Heaven. He is making preparations with your specific likes and tastes and talents in mind. We are the Bride of Christ and our Groom is pulling out all the stops to bring us into a place that will make us know, without a doubt, that we are His Beloved.
Don't you feel treasured at the prospect? No romance novel or Lifetime movie can hold a candle to the sweet romance that awaits us when we finally surrender to Jesus, the One who loves us like no other lover ever will.
Hillsong Jesus, Lover Of My Soul
Jesus, Lover of my soul,
Jesus, I will never let you go
You’ve taken me from the miry clay
You've set my feet upon the Rock, and now I know
I love you, I need you,
Though my world may fall, I’ll never let you go
My Saviour, my closest friend,
I will worship you until the very end.
ri Jobe, Lover of My Soul http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mJFFrVnczE