Awake, north wind! Rise up, south wind!
Blow on my garden and spread its fragrance all around.
Songs 4:16a (NLT*)
Weeks shy of six and a half years later, Vineyard Days has reached a noteworthy mile marker. We’ve made it to the end of chapter four of the Song of Songs – halfway through. Someone pop a cork! While it’s “halfway” from a chapter point of view, Shepherd Lover aka Bridegroom King knows where we are on the page of ascent1 in this Shulamite journey with Him and His companions. It is a Spirit-led expedition of going from strength to strength2 in His loving, reviving, compelling heart – our Promised Land. Welcome to Vineyard Days – Let the Winds Blow.
Occasionally a visual nails the theme. That’s how I felt when I came across the photo that accompanies this post. It depicts the both and of the cold north wind and the warm south wind. And the fact that the field’s blooming.
Both in spite of and because of the Shulamite’s responses to Shepherd Lover, the soil of her life has something to show. The north wind of the convicting power of Holy Spirit has been balanced by His south wind of warming comfort to her soul. No dread northern wind is purposed to annihilate His beloved. Instead, it serves to rout that which would impair the harvest if the chaff remained3. She’s been learning the ways of His presence in all the seasons of her life.
There are times that, like the Shulamite bride, we need a brisk northern wind to blow away the fog of confusion and the stifling of life. When what remains is made clear (we often call that a reality check), it is our response in the face of what we’re facing – both favorable and grievous – that helps determine the health of the crop.
Bless her heart, our dear Shulamite has come to a point where she can now say from her own lips:
“let the winds blow”
What happened? Her life has become the proving ground of the seeds of truth planted in her heart and mind. Fruit bearer that she is designed to be, the Husbandman has been the one who controls the type and intensity of the winds that blow across her heart and her frame. For every yielding to the touch of His hand, redeeming growth has occurred. And with it, the realization there is a direct correlation in her responsiveness to Him –
Bracing, cold north wind x moving in more closely to Him in the gale
= incoming south wind of comfort and light for another growth spurt
This windy life cycle has blown through enough times for her to recognize that the only thing that helps nobody, is a dead calm.4
Scent of the Spirit
If His garden has been planted within
If it has been growing and developing
If there is evidence in your life of valuable, precious things and fruitful reward of His indwelling
…there will come a time when the scent of the Holy Spirit cannot be kept like precious ointment in a locked box.
The worshiping heart will not be satisfied until the fragrance of His presence is released all around. “Let the winds blow” becomes an anthem of faith and victory as fear and distrust gives way to His everlasting faithfulness.
What form pure worship of His Lordship takes in one life will surely be variegated in the lives of others. Yet, together, those who companion with Him fashion the garden where He loves to pasture His flock – among the lilies.
Flies in the Ointment
Remember, dear companion, that we’re only halfway through the Shulamite’s spiritual saga. I will be the first to acknowledge that amid the most beautiful garden of fragrant blossoms, fruit flies abound. She, nor we, will ever outgrow our need for dependence on the Husbandman of our vineyard days.
He alone brings forth a sweet-smelling fragrance as the winds of His Spirit blow across the garden fields of our life.
*New Living Translation (NLT)
1 Psalms of Ascent 120-134 – also referred to as the Songs of Degrees
2 Psalm 84:7
3 Vineyard Days – Two Kinds of Flames, Part 1 & 2 and At the Threshing Floor Tonight remain cyclically relevant to the life of the Bride; not the rehashing of the old but the continued work of Holy Spirit who has been tasked with preparing a purified Bride for our Bridegroom King
4 Mark Guy Pearse
©2019 Nancy C. Bentz – Author’s permission granted to forward this devotional piece in its entirety, including this copyright line. Comments and subscriptions to this blog are welcome.