Until the cool of the day when the shadows flee away,
Turn, my beloved, and be like a gazelle
Or a young stag on the mountains of Bether. ~ Songs of Songs 2:17
So here we are – the moment of truth.
Remember back to verse 8 the Shepherd King came to our maiden fair climbing through the mountains and leaping across the hills. He invited her to come out. He described the glory of the newly sprung spring, fragrances, sounds and colors, beauty on every side. He promised to keep her safe, to hide her from the danger, and expose her only to the wonder and glory.
Sadly her answer is "I am not quite ready."
She tell Him, her gazelle, her young stag, to turn, leave her there and head out to the mountains. You can come back home this evening and I will have dinner ready.
God’s design for our lives is to move from glory to glory. He has a path we can walk that will take us to new levels of intimacy, to grow in our relationship, in our reliance on Him. He does not however drag us kicking and screaming. There are always choices we can make.
He is calling her to drop her concerns about foxes and flocks and follow Him, to join Him in what He is doing. Come and climb the mountains, leaps among the hills with me.
Nevertheless she sends Him on ahead. “No, you go, I am not ready, I don’t have enough practice, I am not prepared, my garden is a mess, frankly, I am afraid.”
The excuses all boil down to that last bit, “I am afraid.”
What kind of excuses do you make when you are simply afraid to step out into something completely new and foreign to you?
Have you been in this place?
Let me be completely clear here. We are going to see, by the way Jesus deals with her here that this is not a huge “sin issue” in her life. She is not staying at home because she is lazy, or lusting after other things.
She is desperately in love with Jesus, and wants to step out, she simply can’t stir up enough courage to take the plunge. At this stage in her story, it is not that she is unsure who is calling her. She knows His voice, and she is not confused about what He is calling her to do.
When we come to these places there are a couple things we need to know.
- Jesus does not react in anger toward her.
- Jesus is not surprised.
- Jesus does not love her any less.
- Jesus does not punish her.
- Jesus does not move on to someone else.
In fact we are going to see (it may take a couple sessions to get there – but we will) that Jesus is simply going to give her more reasons to trust and answer her fears until she is strong enough to go for it.
If you find yourself frustrated by your inability to say “Yes” to the Lord in some area, and the opportunity has moved on, don’t despair! All is not lost. Yes, there was a better choice you could have made, but our Father is all about growing us, and growing our relationship with Him.
Is the Lord inviting you to step out into something new?
What are you going to do?
See you again soon.