“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” Matt. 6:31,32
There is great delight in watching a young believer “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (II Pet. 3:18). It is an equally precious thing to see how our loving heavenly Father condescends to those who are weak in faith, and even to those of us who are more mature believers (and ought to know better). God was at work in both of these ways in what is shared below—one of my favorite memories.
I met Robin when she enrolled in a university class I taught for freshman girls. She was an enthusiastic new Christian with all the typical ups and downs and growing pains that result from the spiritual metamorphosis from the ways of the “old man” into those of a new creature. I was privileged to witness the deepening of Robin’s faith through her undergraduate years. She became not only a hearer of the Word, but also a doer, faithfully investing her life in the ministry our church’s bus route.
A few years after having met Robin, I was pleased to learn that she had become engaged to a wonderful young man in our church. They had met while serving together in a children’s Bible club. I was asked if I would be willing to coordinate the wedding. With joy, I accepted. In helping Robin with the myriad details involved in a wedding ceremony, I learned that she had lofty, romantic ideals for her special day. My task was to somehow help her to make these a reality on a very meager budget.
Any wedding director knows that the most prominent expenditure (and often the one with the largest price tag) is the bride’s gown. Every girl has in her mind’s eye the perfect style, color, detailing—and Robin was no exception. Because she had no vehicle of her own at the time, I chauffeured the bride-to-be to various bridal shops and rental stores in town. She had stars in her eyes as she admired each dress and veil in the three-way mirrors of numbers of dressing rooms. The stars began to fade, however, when her eyes fell on the price tags. I watched as hope gave way to discouragement on her face. How would she ever find her perfect, snowy white, sequined and beaded, leg of mutton-sleeved (with a point at the wrist), Cinderella-flounced, lots of buttons up the back, cathedral-trained gown of her dreams? I assured her with a resolute smile and a prayer that God could do this. Perhaps we should check the classifieds?
We scoured the newspapers. I called to investigate several ads. Some gowns were not at all what we wanted. A few ads held some promise until we saw the advertised garment in person. One was much too out-of-date. Another sounded absolutely perfect, until we discovered it to be an awful shade of ecru that would have transformed my young friend’s complexion into that of a corpse rather than that of a radiant bride. After having her aspirations dashed yet again, Robin began to despair and my faith was faltering as well, I am ashamed to say. We prayed together in the car that night. As a little child, Robin came to her Father, her Abba, and asked Him without malice if He cared about her search. I silently prayed for our Father to provide an exceedingly abundant answer above all that she had asked for, or even dreamed. That was Saturday.
On Sunday night at church, numerous ladies were hovering around the prospective bride, asking about how the plans were coming along. Upon learning about our continued search for a dress, one of the ladies volunteered the use of her own, but she wasn’t sure it would be anything close to what Robin would like.
She brought the dress to prayer meeting the following Wednesday night. After the service, the three of us went down to the nursery to take a look at it. As the dry cleaner’s bag was opened and the skirt and train tumbled to the floor, Robin and I both stood amazed. The opaque plastic peeled away, and hanging before us was the perfect, snowy white, sequined and beaded, leg of mutton-sleeved (with a point at the wrist), Cinderella-flounced, lots of buttons up the back, cathedral-trained gown of our dreams. Every single detail was there. Not one thing was missing…except a price tag. At no cost, and with a few minor alterations, a beautifully adorned young lady practically floated down the aisle to her admiring groom one sunny Saturday afternoon. Her most becoming accessory? The lovely and confident smile of an adoring daughter, whose heavenly Father knows how to give good gifts to them that ask Him.