Song of Songs 1:8-2:7–
If you do not know, O most beautiful among women, follow in the tracks of the flock, and pasture your young goats beside the shepherds’ tents. I compare you, my love, to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots. Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, your neck with strings of jewels.
We will make for you ornaments of gold, studded with silver.
While the king was on his couch, my nard gave forth its fragrance. My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh that lies between my breasts. My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms in the vineyards of Engedi.
Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are doves.
Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful. Our couch is green; the beams of our house are cedar; our rafters are pine. I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.
As a lily among brambles, so is my love among the young women.
As an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men. With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. Sustain me with raisins; refresh me with apples, for I am sick with love. His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me! I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.
What I found: Remember last week, when she (we) came to the realization that she couldn’t live the way she had been, that she needed Him (Jesus)? She began to seek Him out and asked Him to guide her. This week, He tells her the way to Himself and offers to take her upon Himself. He doesn’t disappoint! He admires various things about her, as do other people, but they try to add to her instead of simply seeing HER, like he does. We all experience this: Jesus is constantly telling us how beautiful we are, but the world and our own minds convince us, “You need more. You can’t be beautiful the way you are. Let US make you better.” The wonderful part of this is that Jesus says so much more; others only get one sentence! Focus on His volumes of truth instead of the pitiful attempts of the rest of the world; you ARE beautiful, one of a kind! Even in our passage today, we read that He sees her as a beauty admist the ordinary. We also see how it is to be with Him– wondrous in every way, even smell! He is pleasing, the One who gives her beauty, a joy, infectious. They speak words of love over each other, just like how He shows love to us and our response should be to do the same! How often do you take the time to simply tell Jesus about all the things you love about Him? Make your time with Him sweet and rich, like coming home after a long day and having a comfortable yet deep conversation with your husband. Just like our man in the passage, He loves to bless us, and His love for us is obvious. It reminds me of a sweet song by Josh Wilson called “Behind the Beauty”: look around, look around/ tell me, can’t you see?/ all the wonder in the world is reason to believe/ that there is something more/ a love we can’t ignore/ behind the beauty/. Ask for open eyes, and you will see His love, I promise. He did it for me recently! This brings me to my last observation: His love is so worth waiting for, and not to be tainted by another. If you don’t feel His love, I know that you are very tempted to look for that feeling in other places. I’m not just talking about another person; it could be anything. A song that gives you chills, your favorite store, a trip to anywhere different, daydreams, new curtains– I’m serious! But He’s what you want. And He’s here for you now. Maybe the explanation for your dry season is that it’s simply not time yet. I’m going to share something very tender for me, in hopes that it gives YOU hope: when I was at Generation Unleashed last year, there was an incredible multitude of healing, and Jesus was giving people spiritual gifts. Instead of being overjoyed for my brothers and sisters, I stood in the crowd, praying, “Please, please, please.” I left disappointed because I hadn’t felt Him or received a gift. I didn’t even get healed from my lost voice, and two days later I sobbed for hours and BEGGED, “Please, Jesus! Why not me?!” I felt like He’d said no, that He didn’t have a gift for me. That was the beginning of a very hard year for me spiritually. I had to learn that life with Jesus isn’t a series of big moments and waiting for them, but a true walk with highs and lows; a relationship. My youth pastor told me a few months ago, “Maybe He didn’t say ‘no’, just ‘not yet.'” I see that now. I still don’t know what my gift is, but I believe it exists. It may just be that I don’t know how to use it for Him yet. Trust His timing for love. He is so incredibly wise and will always provide what you need! Wait for Him, because of who He is– God is love.
This is what I found in our(slightly long!) piece of Scripture today. What about you?
(Side note: don’t feel awkward reading some of these lines in Song of Songs. It’s perfectly pure in marriage, which is what our relationship with God is meant to be!)