“Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, come with me from Lebanon.
Descend from the crest of Amana,
from the top of Senir, the summit of Hermon, from the lions’ dens and the
mountain haunts of the leopards.”
Song of Songs 4:8 – NIV84
When one is truly, madly, deeply in love, the heart’s yearning deepens rather than lessens.
If I lost you right there, I understand. Who of us can say we have fully experienced loving that way? To whatever degree we can, I firmly believe it is because we have stayed in the stuff in relationships and circumstances that, often unrecognized at the time, provide divinely designed stairs intended to lead us upward into the healthy heart of Elohiym.
In the natural, where we care deeply, the yearning to understand and be understood in return can cause our human hearts to expand and our love to grow. Or not. To expand rather than constrict, it’s our spiritual cultivation into the heart of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that makes a healthy natural outflow possible. Where desire’s scale still tilts toward more of us and less of Him, yearning’s fire threatens to fizzle out. The becoming bride is well versed in tilting and fizzling.
These days in which we live are requiring more of us than we have to give. This is a gift, dear ones, if it serves to drive us deeper into seeking Him whom we say that our soul loves. To whom much is given, much is required.1 If we would be the bride, the embodiment of much given, it will require an ongoing answering of our Beloved’s second call to “Come with Me from…”
Deepened yearning calls for leaving the self-preserving shore of Eros love to wade in Phileo’s rising waters. For most if not all of us, so much of what came before was lived out in environments either controlled or to be controlled. Yet, there is more. Agape love’s ocean of more, where our feet can no longer touch bottom. In a less than poetic phrase, it’s here that spiritually we either desperately try not to sink, or learn to swim.
Agape’s ocean envelops, if we allow. Elohiym, who is love, buoys and bolsters, dives us deep and fills us full. It is in the poise of our spirit in response to His Spirit, that we are assured of His love that never lets us go.
I know it calls for a deeper level of trust. Resistance was once my middle name. Guarding my heart took on brick wall proportions of faulty perceptions. If I thought something to be so, I couldn’t see it any other way. Not until I was challenged, heard the challenge, met the challenge, and pushed through it into God’s love. Not just once either, but over and over. Eventually I came to learn that on the other end of my guarded heart and stiff arm, when let down, are always the everlasting arms underneath Elohiym’s dwelling place.2
In the natural, I never learned to swim well. Were I to be swept out to sea or found floundering in waters too deep for my frail ability, I have no doubt it would be sayonara. But I am learning that what I may not be capable of or previously learned in my humanness, is not the allotment to which my spirit need be wed.
Though I try not to put myself in harm’s water way if I can help it, the Lord’s billows and breakers flowing over me is a different matter. It has become the place of surrender and drowning in His life, as Deep calls to the deep He has placed within me; indeed, placed within all His creation.
How then shall we respond?
My soul is dry and thirsts for You, True God,
as a deer thirsts for water.
2 I long for the True God who lives.
When can I stand before Him and feel His comfort?
3 Right now I’m overwhelmed by my sorrow and pain;
I can’t stop feasting on my tears.
People crowd around me and say,
“Where is your True God whom you claim will save?”
4 With a broken heart,
I remember times before
When I was with Your people. Those were better days.
I used to lead them happily into the True God’s house,
Singing with joy, shouting thanksgivings with abandon,
joining the congregation in the celebration.
5 Why am I so overwrought?
Why am I so disturbed?
Why can’t I just hope in God?
Despite all my emotions, I will believe and praise the One
who saves me and is my life.
6 My God, my soul is so traumatized;
the only help is remembering You wherever I may be;
From the land of the Jordan to Hermon’s high place
to Mount Mizar.
7 In the roar of Your waterfalls,
ancient depths surge, calling out to the deep.
All Your waves break over me;
am I drowning?
8 Yet in the light of day, the Eternal shows me His love.
When night settles in and all is dark, He keeps me company—
His soothing song, a prayerful melody to the True God of my life.
Psalm 42:1-8 The Voice
You may meet me here next time for “Come with Me from…”, Part Two.
~ Gracefully Free
1 in context of Luke 12:31,35-48
2 Deuteronomy 33:27