From the time Jesus walked barefoot along the Sea of Galilee, He had a thing for nets. He called fishermen – with nets – to become His first disciples, His budding Bride.
After toiling unsuccessfully through the night, He instructed them to let down their nets on the other side of the boat. The catch nearly capsized them. No doubt He sat with them as they repaired those nets, joining them in the work.
This same Jesus, the Word made flesh, was described in Psalm 91 as the One who delivers from the snare (spread-out net) of the trapper.
Now here He stood within the life of this one He loved. In the midst of her stuff, He was flourishing and blossoming and showing Himself to her through the lattice – all but standing on His head to capture her attention. But the lattice hindered her movement, for as charming and old country as it may be, the lattice was a braided net entangling and catching, like game caught for roasting.*
She saw Him. She described Him. She could almost reach out and touch Him. But the wall, the windows, the lattice were building blocks of the structure erected around her heart that prevented unobstructed access to Him. So close. Still distant.
She noticed Him, alright. She could even quote what He said next, for her heightened awareness of Him spurred on His pursuit of her:
“My Beloved answered and said to me, ‘Arouse yourself, My love,
My beautiful one, and come away.'” Song of Songs 2:10
Always the Initiator, He again took the next step that issued from His love for her and told her what to do. Arouse yourself – rise, abide, endure, accomplish, confirm, continue, rise up again, stand up, strengthen, make good, succeed.* In other words, “Get up. And come away with Me!”
The very One of Psalm 91 was providing her a way of escape from the lattice’s ensnaring net. He even gave her the weather report from his view out the window (the significance of which we’ll look at next time ), encouraging her with what He saw. But then, unbelievable as it sounds, the upshot of a few more verses along in the narrative is that in spite of His clear directive and invitation, she sent Him away.
She sent Him away!
I wonder if our Bridegroom ever feels like pulling out His hair over the reluctance of His bride. Maybe He doesn’t, but He is jealous for her, with an ardor that she come away with Him and fully belong to Him.
How much longer must He suffer long with being put in the position of vying for our attention through the tangled lattice-net of our ‘stuff’?
Sometimes I’m amazed at how skilled we have become at tying knots and making repairs to our nets.
All the while, Jesus is standing in the middle of who we are, asking us to put down our net, pick up our cross, and follow Him.
Even though the reluctant Bride sent Him away, for a time – still He called to her. And still He calls through the lattice today to His Bride:
“Come away, My beloved…”
~ Gracefully Free
Shammahs Field LLC/Shammah Ministries is the biblical counseling, life coaching, and spiritual growth ministry entrusted to Wayne & Nancy Bentz. You can learn more about the resources they have to offer at shammahsfield.com and nancybentz.com.