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The Perfect Proposal

July 3rd, 2008

Focus Text: Psalm 91: 2 (NLT)

2 This I declare about the Lord:
   He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
      he is my God, and I trust him.


Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

Laura and I had been dating for quite a while and I was certain that she was the one I wanted to marry.  The ring cost more money than I could afford, though.  So, I told God that if He wanted me to ask her at that moment, that I needed Him to provide the funds for the ring.  That’s when things got pretty interesting.

My old car from high school- a 1988 red Plymouth Sundance with a cracked engine block, defective paint, and a headliner that hung down in your face- had been parked up on the fence line of our yard ever since my Senior year.  Next to it was my Dad’s old 1985 Audi sedan– equally as jacked up as the Sundance.  Well, I jumped them both off and mysteriously, they somehow started (but not without some complaining.)  I vacuumed and cleaned the interiors, washed them, and put them out in our front yard with “For Sale” signs on both of them.  Out of nowhere . . . whamo!  They both sold in less than two days.

However, I still didn’t have quite enough money.

Then, the phone rang.  My Mom called to tell me that a tiny church up near Joelton, Tennessee (that’s somewhere near nowhere) had inquired about me preaching for them for a revival.  I still don’t know how or why that little church wanted to hear some little punk college student speak to them, but I immediately said yes.  There were maybe fifty people at the service that night and over fifty percent of them had to be under the age of twelve.  Yet somehow, the offering they took up for me was the largest I had ever received and combined with the money from the cars, it was almost exactly what I needed to buy the ring.  Well, that was my answer from God!  

So I bought the ring . . . incognito, of course.  Trying to surprise Laura is like trying to sneak up on a Secret Service agent– she always figures it out.  But I was determined to make this work!

Next, I took her Dad out to eat to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage.  That was a long meal!  Between my profuse sweating, lack of appetite, and incessant trembling, I mustered up the courage and muttered the words.  And after a deliberately long and detailed line of questioning from a very, very good Dad, I was tearfully and wholeheartedly given the green light.  Whew!  I still get nervous thinking about it!

Now the stage was set.  The ring was bought and the father-in-law was in compliance.  Best of all, Laura was still completely snowed.  But all these details were still insignificant to the actual proposal– without that little event, this entire story would be moot.

To make a long story short (yeah right,) I had written a song to propose to Laura with.  I had told her when we first started dating that I would never write a song for a girl unless she was the one that I was going to marry.  Now that’s some pre-planning proposal genius, even if I do say so myself!  We were going to go to her church to hang out and play some music together (as we often did.)  It was there that I was going to propose . . . on a Thursday.  Then, she threw the wrench into the plans.  We were out on Tuesday and she suggested that we go the church later that night– drats!

To make matters worse, the ring was an hour away at my house in Knoxville and we were in a town called Sweetwater– double drats!  So, to put it bluntly, I lied!  I conjured up a stomach sickness and spent the entire night in the “bathroom” while covertly calling my roommate and best friend who secretly brought the ring to the exit in Sweetwater and gave it to her Dad and brother who were also in on the whole thing who hid the ring in the piano bench at the church and paged me with the secret code we had devised (sometimes, a long run-on sentence is necessary to convey the emotion of the moment.)  It was a crazy night, but the ring was in play.

As we were singing, I kept complaining about the rickety old piano bench.  Then, I sang my love song for her– she wept like a baby– I was elated!  Then, I “broke the moment” by getting down on one knee to “fix” the piano bench.  I opened it up, took out the ring, and presto, the perfect proposal was complete.  She somehow managed to sniffle out a yes and then, we were officially engaged.

I told that whole story to make one point- my feelings for my love would have been completely worthless if I never made them public.  I had to declare my love for her– out loud.

That’s what this verse is all about.  “This I declare . . . ”  There’s energy in your personal declaration of trust and affection for God.  Make it public and say it out loud.  Involve others in your life in your mission to shower your love upon Jesus.  Hear yourself utter the words, even if you’re nervous about your abilities to be perfect in this relationship with Him.  Perfection is not yours to worry about; He’s already taken care of that detail.  What He wants is your declaration of commitment for life.  

“He alone is my refuge, my place of safety.”  That night on one knee, I told Laura that she alone is the girl of my dreams– and she still is.  I declared it for every ear to hear, but especially hers.

May we be even more extravagant in our declarations of devotion to our Savior.



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