I had the privilege of doing the wedding of a VU employee this past weekend. It was an outdoor event and the weather couldn’t have been better. All in all, it was about as perfect as a day here on earth can be, but it is not the day that stayed with me. It was a simple moment during the rehearsal.
We went through things a few times on Friday evening, and I asked the couple repeatedly if they had any questions. I wanted to be sure that the inner bridezilla that might exist would be placated, and I wanted their day to be just that: theirs.
But time and time again I was met with head shakes and a simple “No.” In fact only one question was asked. In nearly a whisper the groom looked at me during the practice, his future bride, doe-eyed across from him and asked, “Can we hold hands like this during the ceremony?”
I looked at their interlocked hands, and nodded appreciatively. “Yes, yes you can.”
Later, I thought about that moment, and how that was his one question, one that revealed his deep longing to be near—as near as possible—to this woman he loved. While that was a beautiful sentiment, I then imagined the cruelty of a world in which that was not the case. What if this friend of mine was the only person on earth with hands? What if he had this innate desire to hold hands with someone else, but there was no other person with whom he could meet this insatiable need?
It would be a tragic place, that world. But it isn’t the world we live in because God is not a God of restlessness. He is not a God of wanting, of unmet desire. When He looked on at the world He created, He noted that it “was not good that man should be alone.” But at that assessment, he didn’t balk. He didn’t kick His feet up and let man figure it out. No, He created an outlet for man in woman, and the same for woman in man. He proved that He is a God of provision in Genesis, but does so repeatedly throughout His Word.
He provides food for hunger and even flavors for our taste-buds. He provides unfading joy to meet the darkness of this world, and a peace that surpasses understanding with which to navigate life’s tumult. He provides air for our lungs, and hope for our future. He gives a need for community and provides it through proximity with others and familial relationships. He provides, and provides, and provides. And to deal with our penalty for sinning against Him, God provided His Son to take on our punishment and clothe us in His righteousness. God provides.
He provided an excellent wife for my friend. He provided hands to hold. He’s provided them a marriage, one in which they find themselves complete only in the other. And He provides the same for us all, an existence that finds ourselves complete in the mutual delight of a loving, provident God. He gives us hands to hold, both now and forever.