On our recent trip to Northern Ireland, I was struck by something ... that something kind of has to do with Catherine but really, it has to do with something much greater.
You see, when we arrived at the airport, and these two fellows saw Catherine, they almost devoured her with their love. (Calum is sandwiched in between the Builder and Catherine in this photo!)
The photo captures something of the love by which Catherine was surrounded the whole time we were there.
She loves the Builder, and it shows.
He loves Catherine, and it shows.
Wouldn't y'all say?
There's her father, and her brother ...
...and her husband.
All three of these precious relationships are pictures of the infinitely more precious relationships we can have in Christ.
When we are in Christ, we can say the words, 'Our Father in heaven', and know that our God truly is our Father. How unspeakably precious to have the Lord of Heaven and earth, the One who rules and over rules, who loves us and is able to supply all our needs in Christ Jesus ... as our Father! What a privilege and a joy to be a child of this Father! Much as Catherine delights in being the daughter of the Builder, that pales into insignificance compared with her being a daughter of our Heavenly Father.
"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God" 1 John 3:1
Our Saviour also calls His people His brothers, and after He rose from the dead, He told the women at the graveside: "Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me." (Matthew 28:10)
The disciples had forsaken Him in His time of greatest need, yet He calls them His brothers. What an infinitely kind and loving older brother we have in Christ. Catherine delights in the love of her brothers, but how much more can we delight in the love of our older Brother.
And then, there's Christ as our Husband.
There is no relationship on earth to compare with marriage, and no relationship at all - on earth or in heaven - to compare with our being the bride of Christ. We adore Him, we see glimpses of His beauty and we are overcome with love. We can absolutely say: "His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend" (Song of Solomon 5:16).
Our Father. Our Brother. Our Husband.
Catherine is hugely blessed to have these three relationships here on earth. But her greatest blessing by far is that she has these three relationships with the Lord our God.
The first three relationships, good as they are, are imperfect. But our relationships with our Lord are perfect, because they are covenantal, and are of Him.
The first three relationships will all come to an end. But our spiritual relationships will never end. Indeed, they will come to their greatest fruition when all the others are ended, and when we behold the face of our Beloved, when we sees Him face to face, and we shall "know even as also I am known" (1 Corinthians 13:12)
What a thought!