The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the LORD, ‘I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown.’” Jer. 2:1-2I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Rev. 2:4Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Ps. 51:12
Dear Lord Jesus, that you are jealous for our love is as humbling as it is astonishing. What greater compliment could you possibly give us? That you miss our affection tests the limits of my imagination. That you ever made me a part of your beloved bride, in the first place, continues to move me to cry out, “Lord, I believe—help my unbelief!” Only your love, Jesus, is better than life.
When I slow down enough to remember, and when I rid myself of defensiveness and excuse making, of course I have to agree with you. There was a time, early in your relationship with me, when I loved you with the passion, delight, and devotion of a young bride. Wherever you led me, even through the desert and barren places, I went with joy, because you were my oasis, nourishment, and utter satisfaction.
In time, I began to depend on other things and other people to supplement the joy of being your beloved bride. You weren’t quite enough for my foolish, longing heart. I thought my earthly spouse, or my children, or more money, or the approval of people, or ministry success, or were also necessary. And though it grieves me to say it, at times these other things and other people have actually replaced you as the source of my deepest joy, contentment, meaning, peace, and hope.
Jesus, I confess and repent. It would be one thing if you were a harsh, disengaged, demanding bridegroom. But you love me as none other. You lived and died to make me your own. You have robed me in the bridal gown of your own righteousness. You care for my heart and my whole being as no one else. You enjoy me, delight in me, and rejoice over me with irrepressible singing!
Indeed, Lord Jesus, restore to me the joy of your salvation and the first love of bridal affection. I have no power to change myself, but you have all power. I praise you for the constancy of your wooing, patient heart. How I long for the Day when loving you in part will give way to loving you perfectly. So very Amen I pray, in your all-sufficient name.