“…you are precious and honored in my sight…”
Isaiah 43:4 (NIV)
Charles Wesley, was a wonderful hymn writer and Anglican priest. He wrote some 6,000 hymns including Hark the herald angels sing, and Jesus Lover of my soul. He was a remarkable though eccentric person. For example, before he married Sarah Gwynne, she made him promise not to sleep in his clothes which was his habit.
When Charles heard that his older brother John was about to marry Grace Murray he immediately took to horse, rode to where John was, and confronted his brother with the statement that he could not marry the woman. His reasons included the idea she was socially beneath John. Leaving John to compose the reasons why he should marry Grace, Charles rode fast and furious to where Grace was staying and compelled her to marry another man immediately.
However, he was a man whose word was his bond and he was always faithful to his promises.
During his marriage, his beautiful wife Sarah contracted smallpox and was sadly disfigured by the disease. The loss of her singular beauty meant nothing to Charles. A guest in their home, following her disfigurement, spoke to Charles on the side and said, “Mr. Wesley, your wife, your wife.” To which Charles quickly responded, “Yes, isn’t she beautiful!”
No disease, accident, or disability Sarah could sustain would cause him to turn from her in any way. This was the way God ordained Christian marriage and Charles complied readily with the vows he had made to Sarah.
In Scripture the relationship between God and His people is likened to a marriage (Hosea 2:16; Matthew 9:15; Revelation 21:2). God uses this beautiful analogy to help His people understand just how intimate their relationship is with Him.
If you are a follower of Jesus, then you are eternally united to Him and nothing that happens to you by way of an act of rebellion, or other sin against Him will turn the Lord away from you.
If a sinner called Charles Wesley (and he knew he was a sinner) could sustain the loss of his wife’s youthful beauty prematurely and still see the real beauty of the woman, then we may be assured the God who made us will continue faithful to us regardless of any tragedy that happens to us.
Have you been fearful to approach God because of some rebellion, or other sin in your heart, Christian? Do you not see, that because you have been united to Jesus you are still “precious and honored in his sight.”? Whatever has brought you down and made you feel yourself unacceptable to God, do not hesitate to come to Him just as you are.
The first verse of the beautiful hymn that was always sung at the conclusion of Billy Graham’s meetings goes as follows:
Just as I am, without one plea,
but that thy blood was shed for me,
and that thou bidst me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Jesus, the bridegroom waits. Why do you?