One hundred and one days. It was March 31 when I last posted in Vineyard Days.
Far too long to my way of thinking. However, there was a diligence in the disruption.
Here at Shammahs Field, the first half of this year has been spent sharpening our ears to hear what the Spirit is saying, and sharpening tools and implements that aid in the production of the fruit that comes out of our plot of ground we have been given to steward (which often means ‘roll up our sleeves and work’). Two new websites* and an event as part of my labor, and Wayne’s focus on many counseling clients and a retreat later, we have arrived (along with the rest of you!) at the mid-point of 2014.
It has not been dull the past six months – or the past six weeks! – with much time spent with family; reviving of some old relationships; and creating of some new ones God had in mind. And yet…
How I have longed to get back to uncapping the fountain that is Wellspring of Life, and particularly, Vineyard Days. As the Shulamite discovered – and as I pray we believers are discovering – we are even now in the midst of vineyard days in the building of our relationship with our Beloved.
There is a place of intimacy with Christ our Bridegroom King that has yet to be breached. Nevertheless, His ocean of Love breaches our sandy shores continually…wave upon overtaking wave. How we respond to His overtures remains a key principle in these unfolding Vineyard Days writings.
Before I sat down to pick up the Shulamite’s and our storyline again, I took the time to read Vineyard Days from the beginning…all the way back to April 2013. if you are new to Wellspring of Life and Vineyard Days – or – if you need to re-soak in the wine vat as I did, I encourage you to encourage your heart by reading back a ways, even if back to the beginning. One hundred and one days of life and labor can a parched field make. Let’s press in and press on …
“He brought me to the house of wine,
and His banner over me was love.”
Song of Songs 2:4 LITV
One of the most grace-filled realizations of the believer’s life is Christ’s provision of a banquet and a banner. “He brought me…” An act of His will, His love, His longing. And we are the blessed recipients.
“Stay me with raisin cakes, refresh me with apples, because I am lovesick.” SS 2:5 NASB
The Bride needed sustenance; she needed refreshing. For her lovesickness was from being rubbed and worn, rendering her weak and afflicted. She had been flatteringly stroked and grievously entreated. She had been put to pain and she had been sorry. She had been wounded and had become like a woman in travail. She was weary, so very weary.
Thus, her entreaty to the Lord to meet her need. And faithful One that He is, He did. “He brought me, He stayed me, He refreshed me…” became her testimony. To be brought to a place of rest under His shadow, where He held her aching head in one hand and embraced her close with the other was nothing short of sweet satisfaction and rest. This was heaven.
We are no different. We need the Lord to bring us to His house of wine where he sustains and refreshes us with the blessings of His New Covenant. If we did not have that to look forward to at the end of a long haul or a short terror, how could we go on? He still does for the sincere heart turned toward Him what He did for the Shulamite then…even while He patiently waits for understanding to wend its way upward.
But, how quickly being comforted becomes the new comfortable.
It is to our continued growth that we remember our Bridegroom King knows more than we do.
He is fullness to overflowing, while we are often found sipping contentedly from our clutched goblet of wine. As if drinking the last drop signals His wine has run out. Au contraire.
Or in Jesus’ own words, “O ye (we) of little faith.” Do we not believe He has saved the best for last?
But, back to the house of wine and the banner of love. Both needed. Both provided. Even while the Lord longs for His Bride to vocally respond to His desire for her company. He well knows that His provision, though needful and given ungrudgingly, never to be refused on His part, is not the same as The Provider.
And so He, with a heart that beats strongly and yearns deeply for His Bride’s notice, makes a crucial move during this critical time of His love’s journey. He restricts all who could distract her, for He knows it is vital that she discover her need to come to Him alone. He backs it up with a significant statement:
“I adjure you by the gazelles, and by the does of the field, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you do not stir up and do not awaken the Love until it pleases.”SS 2:7 LITV
It is telling that adjure in the Hebrew means ‘to seven oneself’ – that is, swear, as if by repeating a declaration seven times. Which tells me, He means business.
Join me next time as we look more intently into His intention. (I promise it won’t be 101 days out!)
Still gratefully Gracefully Free