This time last year I was engaged to my now wife, Christine. Engagement was a beautiful, exciting and frustrating time. My wife and I got engaged from January 17th of last year and then were married on August 17th. The period between January 17th and August 17th is one I will never forget, and one I never want to do again.
When you're engaged you in a weird place. You're committed fully to a person, but that commitment has not reached fruition. You're committed but aren't yet married. You're close but not completely intimate.
It got even harder for the brief sixteen days that Christine lived in our house and I didn't. I would go and visit her and sometimes fall asleep on the couch or at least start to fall asleep. I would then have to wake myself up to leave my future home to go to the house I was living in at the time. It was torture. I just wanted to be married. I just wanted to say goodnight to Christine instead of goodbye and I longed for the day when I could say goodnight and sleep next to her. I longed for the day when we would actually be each other's spouse.
"Now it is God who made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." 2 Corinthians 5:5
The above verse follows what I wrote about yesterday. God has made us to long for our heavenly dwelling; groan to be perfected in body, mind and spirit. In verse 5 Paul wrote that we have "the Spirit (Holy Spirit) as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."
Here's an analogy to help explain this verse:
The Holy Spirit, in this verse, is like an engagement ring. When I gave Christine her engagement ring I was promising to marry her, but I was not married to her on January 17th. But the fact that we would be married was a done deal, I gave her a deposit, guaranteeing the wedding and marriage to come.
When Christine got her engagement ring she couldn't stop looking at it and admiring its beauty. She felt loved, secure and wanted. The engagement ring changed her life, and mine, for the better, but she and I longed for more. The engagement wasn't the wedding, it was the promise of a wedding to come.
The Holy Spirit is like this. The Holy Spirit allows us to have a relationship with God. One of the three parts of God is with us at all time, but we long to know God in His fulness and that isn't how we know Him now. We long for the wedding feast of the Lamb. We, the Church, the bride of Christ, long to live with Jesus. We long to have what we know, without a doubt, we will have. Right now we have experiences, like dates, where we feel very close to God, but we long for the day when we live in His house.
My life as an engaged man was good, but my life as a married man is better. I've learned more about my wife and have experienced so much more of her love as her husband than I did as her fiance. I get to say goodnight and not goodbye to her every single day.
I can't wait to have that with God. Please don't inject some sexual connotation, but I can't wait to live in God's house. I can't wait to stop having mountaintop experiences with Him and instead just experience Him all the time.
I long to be married. We as the bride of Christ, the Church, need to long to be married. Our engagement period can be a time of immense growth as we prepare for the wedding day, but we should groan for the day when our engagement is over. Christine and I knew the date of our wedding, the Church does not. That being said, the Church knows the wedding is coming. So, let's thank God for His deposit that guarantees what is to come, but let's long for what is to come as well today.