Have you ever felt God had vanished or was so far away and out of reach? I must confess that I have and not just once, but several times. Each time, I learned that God did not abandon me, but was drawing nearer. I also learned more about who I am. Each time, I learned how much he loves me. Each time, I learned to love Him more. The romantic conversation of Song of Songs 1: 7-14 confirms this and helps us find peace during those dark times knowing that we are not alone.
In verse 7, the bride-to-be seeks the King-lover and even cries out to him. She feels abandoned, insecure and insignificant.
Tell me where you’re tending your flocks,
where you let them rest at noontime.
Why should I be the one left out,
outside the orbit of your tender care?
This bride-to-be forgot that she is the King’s lover and was feeling left out and abandoned. She felt he cared for the sheep more than her. I think we do that when bad things happen to us. At least, I know I can and definitely have often.
Like the bride-to-be, we look around and see bad people having a good life and ourselves suffering and wonder why God treats others better than he treats us.
Stay at the Stuff
What’s the King’s answer to the Brides pity party? Here it is in verse 8 (Message version):
If you can’t find me, loveliest of all women,
it’s all right. Stay with your flocks.
Lead your lambs to good pasture.
Stay with your shepherd neighbors.
If you can’t find me, then stay. Stay with YOUR flocks. Lead YOUR lambs. Stay with YOUR neighbors. Stay where you are, keep doing what you’re doing. Stop trying to find me.
When a child of mine became separated from me in a large crowd, it became easier to reunite when the child stayed. If he/she wander around looking for me, it took longer to connect. Their anxiousness and my anxiousness grew with every minute we were apart.
Why do we look for God in the bad things that happen? God creates good, not bad. When we try to see God in the bad things that happen, we tend to stray farther from Him. When things tend to go the opposite we thought they should, we think God made a mistake or we misunderstood or made a poor decision. Even if it was our bad choice or misunderstanding, God is still with us. Stay. He didn’t create the bad thing and he didn’t run away. Do you think he does not know you have imperfections? Trying to cover it, fix it on your own won’t bring you back to God, because He didn’t go anywhere. Call out to him and turn to him in trouble right where you are.
It doesn’t matter what you’ve done – past, present or future. You don’t have to clean up your act. As a matter of fact, you can’t, so you won’t be able to clean it up. If you expect to find God at the end of your good works, you won’t. My good works and your good works are not that good. If you expect to find your good life on your good works, you won’t. My life and your life are not good without God in it.
Significance Pointed Out
During tough times, we tend to think the worst. The Bride felt left out and unimportant. Look again at the King-lover’s response.
If you can’t find me, loveliest of all women
He calls her the loveliest of all women. Look at the next verse or two, verses 9 and 10.
You remind me of Pharaoh’s
well-groomed and satiny mares.
Pendant earrings line the elegance of your cheeks;
strands of jewels illumine the curve of your throat.
He points out her beauty. Okay, so being compared to a mare today may not be such a compliment to many of us. But I’m told that Egypt had the finest horses and the Pharaoh of Egypt had the finest of the finest. The King-lover not only compares her to the finest of the finest, but even the well-groomed of the finest of the finest – in other words, the finest looking of the finest of the finest. To him, she is the loveliest of all women – the most beautiful of the most beautiful of the most beautiful.
God can use the tough times to show us who we are, what we’re made of. We are as scared, as foolish and as selfish as any other one of our human kind. During the dark times, God shows us how beautiful we can be when we wait (stay) on Him.He does not want us to be overcome by the storms, the sickness, the pain, the loss, the grief that come from this life, because he loves us too much. We MAY be overcome if we try and make it on our own. We WILL overcome if we wait on God.
Why does God point out our beauty? It helps us see who we are and who we can be in Christ. He doesn’t condemn us for falling or failing. He shows us our true beauty – His love for us.
Silver and Gold Jewelry
What is the benefit of trusting God through bad times? I believe we have the answer in verse 11.
I’m making jewelry for you, gold and silver jewelry
that will mark and accent your beauty.
This is my God. The God I worship. The God I have come to know. My God works within all life’s situations – good and bad – to adorn me with silver and gold that brings to light my significance, my role in this world. He shows me who I truly am without him and helps me become the one He created.
Tough times reveal what life on this earth really is. It is not this imaginary dream world we’ve created where there can be no harm come to us. We try to pretend that we are strong enough to withstand anything. Admittedly, the human spirit is pretty resilient, but each of us have our limits, our fears and our weaknesses.
God is stronger than all our circumstances. He can take the person we are and adorn us with his strength, his faith, his love and overcome any thing this life can throw at us.
The King-lover could only adorn the outside of his Bride. But God works on the spirit, adorns the heart of a person and radiates His beauty through us.
Sweet Sachets and Bouquets
When my King-Lover lay down beside me,
my fragrance filled the room.
His head resting between my breasts—
the head of my lover was a sachet of sweet myrrh.
My beloved is a bouquet of wildflowers
picked just for me from the fields of Engedi. verses 12 -14 (Message)
Notice how the Bride responds. I believe it teaches our response, our worship of our King. When my King-Lover, then my – the nearness of the King brought out the fragrance of the Bride. True worship isn’t in how beautiful we sing or how humbly we pray or all the good we do for others. Our fragrance fills the room, when we lay with God, his head resting on us. God as head of our lives is the sachet of sweet perfume. He and he alone touching my heart, my soul is the bouquet of wildflowers.
That fragrance will not fill the room if we think our faith, our worship, our good deeds and righteousness or our life is any more significant to God than anyone else’s. I stink without God – the stench of worldliness, disloyalty, selfishness, fear and hate. What makes me beautiful is not dependent on me, but on what Christ did for me and his Spirit does through me.
I learned who I am and who He is through tough times – some of them life created; some of them I brought on myself. The one’s I brought on myself were usually because I didn’t really know myself. I thought I was righteous. I thought I was strong. I thought my faith was strong. When all of the time, it was His righteousness, His strength, the faith He gave me through His love that makes me righteous, strong and full of faith.
He loves you, too. It doesn’t matter what your background is or what you’ve done – good or bad. God loves you and wants to adorn you with His beauty. His beauty through you is the abundant life we all seek.
I write about what I'm thinking or what I've imagined in an effort to regain that childhood imagination and marry with my many years of real experiences. I'm getting better at it the more I write.I am a published author of two romantic intrigue novels.My books can be found at Amazon.com or if you want a personalized copy, by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.