I am sitting on an airplane on an interstate flight. I am going to my daughter's wedding. But instead of being happy, I am very miserable. I am close to tears and stare intently at the book I am holding, hoping that the person next to me isn't sociable enough to ask the purpose of the flight.
Sandra is our oldest child. Her birth was the answer to our prayers and with gratitude and joy we presented her to the Lord. We dedicated her, along with us, to Him and His work.
During her teen years, Sandra's focus dwindled from spiritual activities. Her attention was focused on social activities. When she was in her early adulthood, her father received a call to an interstate position and Sandra chose to stay where she was. After a year, Sandra did not even attend the social events of the church,
Now Sandra is getting married and I am so sad? I admit that I am ashamed. It will not be an Adventist wedding. Her father will not be conducting the service. We hardly desire to invite our friends.
I carry a bag that has a collection of treasures from Sandra's child hood. I have her cards that say, "Mummy, I love Jesus and I love you." There are notes that say, "Dear Jesus, Thank you for these things, my mummy and daddy, my baby sister, my angel and my cat, 'fiddles." I hope there is an opportunity for me to show these to Sandra and discuss them.
Sandra is so excited about the wedding. Her phone calls have been increasing in anticipation of the big day. I wish, for her sake, I could share her feelings. I am scared that my feelings may spoil the happiest day of her life.
I am weepy. The person sitting next to me has left and I can pull out a tissue and indulge my tears.
"Madam, are you all right?" the flight attendant asks me. "Yes," I mutter, "just a sad story."
I grieve when I think of the decisions my daughter has made during the last two years. She is taking one step at a time away from Jesus. Her decision will have eternal ramifications. She knows the truth, but she is turning the other way. I ask myself what we could have done wrong. What could we have done differently? Why has our child chosen the wrong path?
I close my eyes and pray, "Well, God. I shall be landing soon. Sandra will know I am sad. She is very perceptive. She and I are very close, dose enough to know each other's moods. Please help me to ?flake her day happy."
The plane lands. We meet and hug. Darren, her fiance, gives me a hug too. Sandra shows me her engagement ring. It is a beauty and compliments Darren's other gifts of genuine jewelry.
They take me home and show me my room. "I hope you will be comfortable, Mum," says Sandra with a big smile. She is so proud of her hostess skills. I must confess I would be a lot more comfortable if Darren went home to his parents until the wedding. But Sandra knows this. We have had many telephone "discussions" on that subject.
The next morning, I spend a long time in prayer with my Lord. At breakfast, Sandra suddenly blurts out, "What's wrong, Mum?"
I feel like dissolving in tears and pleading with her to stop the wedding. I want us to go home and start again. I want her to be 16 so we can have another chance. But I ask the Lord for strength and tell her how much I love her. I tell her that her dad, God and 1 want the very best for her in this life and the eternal life to come, We do cry a little and then we hug.
The wedding takes place on Sabbath. I awake early and begin praying.
"My God, my heavenly Father. This is your day and I long to spend it in worship with you. This afternoon, Sandra and Darren are getting married.
"We have had some wonderful talks over the past couple of weeks and they have told me that they want a home with Christian influences, They want to bring up their children like we did! This shows some progress and I thank you and praise you for that.
"But now, how do we get through today? My husband, who has just flown in yesterday, is unwell, so there's no church for us this morning. I don't want to break your holy day. I don't know what to do.
"I also don't know how to control my emotions. I feel dreadful! I feel like crying all the time. But I don't want to spoil Sandra's wedding. Help me, please."
And God spoke back to me in my heart: "My dear, I will answer your prayer. I have given you a large portion of my love already. That is why you love her so much. Now I will give you a portion of my joy. It will be my gift to you that you may give to her. You will have joy and happiness that you can share with her today. Today is so important to her and this will be our gift to her for this day.
Now, about your fears about keeping the Sabbath holy. Let me assure you that my presence will be with you all through this day, as long as you keep yourself close to me.
"When I came to this earth, I was continually in a sinful environment, but there was no way that it could taint me. I and my Father are one, and in our presence, one cannot help but be on holy ground."
God kept His promise. I was able to share the love, peace and joy from God with Sandra and Darren. We rejoiced with them in their vows of life-long commitment and love.
We have now moved into a new mode. We keep the communication lines hot with activity and we pray for them constantly. As God answered our prayers on their wedding day, we look forward to answered prayers for their salvation.