The night sky was crystal clear, unfolding rows upon rows of glistening stars. This picturesque view was pleasantly reflected by a quiet still lake surrounded by trees. However, a short distance out from where the trees ended, an old dock extended into the midst of the water, braving the cold chill that carried the breeze along.
As the chorus of crickets harmonized with the wind above the water, two pairs of footsteps could be heard in the distance. The crinkling of leaves soon turned into the creaking of wood as a young man and young woman gradually walked towards the end of the old dock.
The young man took a deep breath as a shy smile shivered its way into forming the words, “It’s beautiful.” An innocent laughed escaped the young woman, “Yes, it is.” The young man glanced to his right, observing her eyes. She, noticing his glance, looked back and observed his puzzled gaze. “I don’t understand,” he remarked. She hesitated, but soon after responded, “I wanted to say hello.” He, after hearing this, slowly looked up to the stars and nodded, only to look back to the still lake canvassing the distance. A murmur escaped him, hesitantly asking, “Will this happen again?” “That’s not for me to decide,” she said, as he let out a deep breath, replying, “Of course.”
Silence replaced their words for quite some time, accompanied by the ever-so-diligent crickets. However, the moments remained frozen, for just as the scenery leaned in to hear their words, the crickets knew very well that they were merely but an accompaniment for the arrangement to follow.
It was only a matter of time before the young man, once again, broke the silence. “I’m sorry. I-… I’ve been looking for you for so long, and,” he took a deep breath. “I…- I just… I can’t seem to find you.” Her response contrasted his worry, as she softly said, “I understand.” This provoked a smile from the young man, releasing some present tension.
In a casual manner, the young woman turned to her left and asked, “Do you trust God?” The young man, taken back by this question, turned to her very calmly. “I do.” “Then why do you search for me?” she asked. The young man turned his head to the trees, pondering the implications and meanings behind her question. A guilty sigh escaped his breath. “Because everyone else is.” She shook her head. “That’s not trusting God, that’s self-gratification.” Acknowledging this rebuke, he said, “I know.”
Knowing that her point was made, she turned back to face the lake, as did he. A grand smile crossed the young woman’s face as she looked to the stars. “They’re so beautiful, and God made them all. He designed the finest detail of the furthest star, and He did it all to showcase His power and glory.” The young man smiled and nodded. “It’s unfathomable.” She continued by saying, “And just think, as beautiful as the universe is, Christ’s love is even more beautiful.” She paused to look at him and slowly asked, “so then, why would you not trust Him to bring me to you?”
The young man’s gaze fell from the stars to the water below the old dock. His voice quavered in saying, “I’m always mistaking others for who you could be. Some days, I walk into the store, and it’s like I see your eyes. Other days, I hear a voice, so I turn around, but it’s someone else. The worst is when I pursue someone who I think could be you, only to have a foundation crumble beneath her and me, leaving us to go our separate ways.” “And why do you pursue them?” He hesitated because he knew the final reason for his response, “I long for a love story like everyone else… I mean, who doesn’t like a good ‘high-school sweetheart’ story? Who doesn’t like a story that grew and grew beneath all the scenes, only to reappear as something more than what it was?”
“You long for a beginning that starts with you,” she responded. He nodded and added, “I know.”
It was once again silent for some time as the both of them stood in awe of the stars and surrounding water. It was clear to each of them that the other was deep in thought. Meanwhile, an ever so slight smile crossed her face as she quietly asked, “Are you willing for me not to be?” The young man’s eyes widened at the thought. “What do you mean?” The tone of her smile crossed over into her eyes which turned to look at him. She paused and then gently asked, “Are you willing to never marry me? Are you willing to give me up only to pursue your King in all His fullness; to hand me over to Christ and let Him make all the decisions?” A chill ran up the young man’s spine like a train, only to crash into his heart and explode.
This explosion ignited a flame of indignation, which caused him to turn around and begin walking away. In a panic, she turned around, reaching out to him, pleading, “No, don’t go!” These words reverberated across the whole lake, reflecting off of the trees, causing every insect to fall under an enormous hush. It was as though even the stars were leaning in to watch what was to happen next. Those words hung mid-air, stopping the young man in his steps. “Please…” she said in a tearful voice, “don’t leave me…” He slowly turned around to see her gentle eyes watering with tears. The tears in her eyes reminded him of who he was to be for her: her protector, her adorer, her knight in shining armor, her friend that had promised to never leave her, in sickness or health. Realizing his pride, he walked back to her side with the words, “forgive me.”
A smile returned as she wiped her tears and said, “I do.
“But oh, you have to understand. When I am held to a higher standard than your pursuit of God, when you are not fully surrendered to Him ‘for my sake’, you’ve failed me.” The young man trembled as he could feel his walls of pride crumbling to the ground. “I am not asking you to run in the opposite direction. I am asking you to seek the Lord. Please, you cannot seek me and the Lord at the same time.” He slowly nodded, but then she continued to ask once more, “Are you willing to seek the Lord and give up all possibility that He will ever place me at your side, meanwhile, joyfully following in His perfect will?!” Tears began to fall from his eyes as he gazed up at the stars. They were so beautiful, and he could not help but think of Christ’s love of being even more beautiful. Oh, the joy of loving and serving a God who has such an infinitely greater love.
Knowing full well what saying the next few words would mean for his future, he wiped the tears from his eyes and said, “I am.”
The young woman let out a sigh of relief in response, followed by a question. “That being the case, with regards to me, will you do something?” The young man looked at her and said, “Anything.” She smiled and replied, “Then please, do nothing.” A confused look crossed the young man’s face. “Nothing?” “Nothing,” she said. “If God is to bring us together, let Him bring us together.” The young man crossed his arms and tilted his head, longing for an even further explanation.
“Psalms 27:13-14 says, ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.’
“Psalms 33:20-22 says, ‘Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.’
“Psalms 37:3-5 says, ‘Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.’
“Proverbs 3:5-6 says, ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.'”
The young man smiled at the young woman standing beside him. “Thank you. I’ll remember those.” She smiled back saying, “Good.” she paused to formulate what to say next. “Don’t wait on me, because if you wait on Who you’re supposed to, then as far as I go, someday, you might not have to.” He gave a firm nod, acknowledging her words. His eyes returned to the night sky, scanning the stars.
“It’s out of my hands, but should you, one day, be at my side, until then…”
His gaze toward the stars turned to his right, however, he saw nothing but trees lining the lake shore. Never before so appalled, he turned around in dismay, fixing his gaze upon the old dock. It was then that he noticed a layer of dust that spread across the deteriorated wood; only one pair of footprints was visible.
“Until then, I will seek His face,
And He will show me who you are in due time.”