March 1, 2017

A few reflections on the greatest song ever written.

The fire hose has continued or rather intensified which, come to think of it, is why I haven't gotten around to writing about this last month.

Many of the things God has been doing in my life over the last month feel so personal and not to be shared with the whole world.  However, I want to take this time to share about one aspect of how the Lord has been moving in me.

"You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you." Song of Songs 4:7 (ESV)

If you have never studied in depth over an extended period of time, I strongly recommend it.  Your heart and mind and emotions toward God and toward yourself will be transformed and aligned with Biblical truth.  It's one of those awkward sounding books that is just too personal, romantic, and uncomfortable and yet it speaks of what is in God's heart towards us and, if we're honest with ourselves, long to find in relationship with a husband or wife no matter how independent or satisfied or wounded we might be.  We were created for deep love and we inherited that from a God who has unified Himself with three persons and if we will receive Him, with the entire human race.  God is tender and romantic and emotional and so are we (yes guys, even you are too at times).

I have been attending a class every Monday night about Song of Solomon.  Its affects have impacted my heart deeply with every week.  The first chapter contains deep language of how God sees and feels about us; His desire and love for us.  One of the most defining and challenging verses is this "I am very dark, but lovely." Song of Songs 1:5 (ESV)  I wish I could break all the verses and symbols down for you but I just want to encourage you to read it and study it and meditate on it and let the words sink deep into your soul.  I have found myself in a lot of darkness and self condemnation as God shows me my unresolved wounds and mistakes and ways that my past is still defining me.  As I spend time engaging with Him in prayer and talking things out with peers and leaders, God keeps plucking away at the lies that I didn't even know I believed.  But God sees me as lovely regardless of the issues and wounds in my life.  I look at His glorious self and wonder how this can be but in the end, choose to soak in it until it transforms my heart and mind.  It hasn't happened yet but the work has begun.

In the second chapter I was deeply struck with what happens.  I identified with and needed to receive the message God had for me in the first chapter but as we studied the next one, I realized how closely it was speaking of my own life.  There was a period in my life when I lived out chapter one.  I received God's love in a way I never had before and responded with desire to be close to Him.  And then God called me to go with him to the mountains.  To walk the high and hard road with Him and I lacked the faith and trust to follow.  God can do the impossible and He will call me to greater heights as I live life for Him but sometimes it is big and scary and I just can't say yes.  It's not a no out of rebellion but out of fear and immaturity in my faith.  Been there done that.   I would guess though that most people do at least once in their lives.  For some reason, I say I'll never do certain things and very often those are the very things God tells me to do.  But it's God's response to my "no" that impacted me.  He goes to the mountains without me but He never rebukes or condemns me.  He just waits as I walk through my wilderness.

I realize and experience God's silence and waiting with pain and with longing and with increased maturity in my faith and trust in Him.  For some reason when I didn't accept the first offer, I started to realize what was before me and when I can't feel or see Him, I long for Him with every ounce of my being.  I have recently walked through this wilderness it was a long treacherous one though thankfully not 40 years.  Two years is long enough for my liking though.  God remained present through it and there would be times He would show up and continued to lead me.  Without fail, He continued to draw me closer to Himself but it was so subtle I didn't even notice until more recently.  I feel like in this season, I am experiencing the fear and surprise and risk and excitement of Him coming to me as He did in chapter three.  He has arrived at my house with a wedding procession to take me with Him and I have accepted but with trepidation.  He is now challenging me to just say yes to Him.  To go deeper and higher with Him in love, in power and in relationship.  It's hard.  So hard.  But despite the difficulty, I have loved it and wouldn't trade this season for anything.

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