Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I have always been very drawn to Scripture references that have to do with love and anything of poetic beauty. What better place to study all of these than Song of Solomon? Although all the verses of all the chapters in this rhythmic book of unquenchable desire and desperate love and longing are striking and  thought provoking, there is one particular reference that has captured my heart. I have read it several times this week, and every time I do I get something new from it.

" Place me like a seal over your heart,
   like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
   its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
   like a mighty flame."SOS 8:6
It kills me that today's society has no clue what love is or what it is all about. This verse sums up love perfectly.
  •  " Place me like a seal over your heart" There was a time long long ago when kings had signet rings, seals of ink or wax that were used to show official ownership. The woman that has won Solomon's heart wants him to keep her in his heart like that ever important seal; to show the world that she alone belongs to him, that she has his undivided affection. What does it mean when we place our hands over our hearts or say "cross my heart, hope to die" ? We are making a pledge, a vow, a sacred promise.A seal not only shows ownership, but promise. By placing her as a seal upon his heart, he is taking a vow to her. A vow to not only love her, but to desire her above all others. She is The One.
  • "like a seal on your arm" I did some extensive research on this tiny phrase and came up with 2 main thoughts. 1-This seal, this promise-it was to be in a place that is readily seen by all. A place that required no explanation. Perhaps the bridegroom was preparing to go away and his bride wanted all who came in contact with him to know his heart was taken. He belongs to her. 2- This seal that represents this bride was to be in a place of strength. A man's arms are his power, his strength, his virility. To place her as a seal on his arm shows fierce pride in her and protection over her. This woman wants to be valued.
  •  "for love is as strong as death" Death is seemingly so final. It is incredibly strong. Think about it...Sure if someone technically passes away, medical personnel can bring them back, but only so many times. And this can't be done forever. Eventually, death will have its way and claim the life it is after. And to be sure, only Christ ( who is God and God is love; so if love  is as strong as death, it took a loving God to match strengths with Death in order to defeat it)had the power to defeat death, by offering himself up as the eternal sacrifice so that where before death was final-claiming both soul and body- now all it can do is claim the body.The soul continues to endure forever, either in an eternal place of peace and joy, or torment and separation from God. In the same way, love should be just as strong, just as final. Nothing can beat it, nothing can squelch, nothing can defeat it- except God himself, should He see fit.
  •  " its jealousy unyielding as the grave." Unyielding, for those who aren't completely sure, means to be un submissive, not flexible. Once you are in the grave, your body is there until the Lord Himself calls it up and out. Wanting the one you want, in essence to be jealous, should be the same way. Their affections should be towards you and yours towards them alone. The desires between the Lover and the Beloved should not be flexible; if he belongs to her and she to him there is no wiggle room allowed. If there is, there may be a serious problem.
"It burns like blazing fire,like a mighty flame." This is pretty self explanatory. Fire causes heat, attracts life like moths and nighttime beetles, can create life within death ( ever see new plant life growing where a wildfire has left its destructive fingerprint?) and is beneficial in countless ways. It is hypnotizing and seductive in its own right, but above all else- must be treated with caution and respect. So should love be. It is fragile and attractive, hugely powerful and all enveloping...but when scorned and mistreated- has the infinite power of destruction.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Keep on Keepin' on

I love how the Lord works. He is all knowing and ever present. To make a very long story short, he brought back into my life someone, who was barely an acquaintance in high school, and now 16 years later, He has orchestrated such a fast and tight bond we have become like siblings in a mere 2 weeks. This person has prayed for me and my family, stayed on the phone with me for hours at my most fearful time this year so far and spoken life into my broken spirit during times of turmoil.
You see, in God’s kingdom there are no acquaintances and there are no coincidences; there is only family and His hands at work in our lives. As if putting this all together weren’t enough to show me how much He loves me and understands what I need to hear and when, He laid it on this new-found brother’s heart to guide my attention to this video: Rain. In a nutshell, this video is of a man passionately explaining the intensity of the Lord’s love for us and his innate drive to keep us protected, despite what all goes on around us or how abandoned our circumstances make us feel. He does this through the telling of an experience he had with carrying his infant son through a severe rainstorm to safety. The analogy is so powerful, I daresay that if you aren’t brought to tears by the end, it is only because you’ve never gone through trials before that left you feeling segregated from life and wondering where God is.
My dear friend gave me the 32nd chapter of Isaiah to read today, but a certain couple of verses really stuck out to both of us. Isaiah 32:16-17 says,” The LORD’s justice will dwell in the desert, his righteousness live in the fertile field. The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.”
This world is full of pain, chaos and heartache. People are clinging to good memories of the past, destructive numbing behavior in the present and a foggy hope in an uncertain future just to try and make it through. Our world is a desert- seemingly dead and barren. But life does exist in even the most barren wasteland, even if it’s in small amounts: a beetle here, a tiny plant there. They may seem insignificant when pitted up against the immensity of such a dry empty space, but it cannot be denied that there is in fact life. The Lord’s justice will survive in this world, though we cannot see it, though it seems to be otherwise. Sin and darkness will run rampant, but the Lord will prevail- if for no other reason than to give the few who are faithful (though they may be sparse and hard to find) a hope and a reason to carry on running the race that is set before them. He promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). And with this promise, we can continue on and because of our unwavering faithfulness to God He will feed our spirits supernaturally; though nothing makes sense and fear grips people’s hearts and our bodies should be fading away, the fruit of righteousness- our reward and nourishment for being faithful to God- will be peace and this peace will cause a stillness, a quietness and a rock steady confidence forever. No fear. No whirlwinds of anxiety. No panic over what is or is to come. Just peace and quietness and confidence. Forever.