‘The season of singing
(pruning the vines) has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
(ring dove) has been heard
in our land.’
Song of Songs 2:12 NASB
I have loved to sing since I was a child. When my fourth-grade teacher (who was our backyard neighbor) complimented me – in writing – on my voice, happy tendrils wiggled their way into my young vine heart.
No doubt those tendrils influenced my selecting Choir as a permanent elective in my junior high years and first year of high school. When I hit the Spring before my Junior year, which was the time for classes to be scheduled for return to school in the fall, I entered into an emotional wrestling match. Did I mention I also wanted to dance since I was a little girl?
That desire has remained an un-fostered childhood dream. But that same Spring I tried out and won a spot on my high school’s drill team – a fun, energetic, creative group of 32 teenage girls that tirelessly practiced at learning the routines and synchronicity required for performing at the games and earning the top spot of excellence in drill team competitions (which we did both years I was on drill team).
But there was a catch. As there often is in the developing of a young vine.
The high school choir and the drill team, though operating in different class periods during the first semester, collided in the second semester that began in January. Drill team’s daily slot was ‘zero hour’ – arriving in the dark for class at 7 am. It so happened that Choir, responsible for putting on the annual Spring musical, also had the zero hour slot for extra rehearsals that the class period did not afford.
I had to choose between two perfectly appropriate desires ingrained in me since I was a young girl. I chose to dance my way through drill team. My reasoning, once I got through the angst of having to make such a decision, was that I could always sing, but being a part of the Ike Hi-Steppers was an opportunity with an expiration date.
I’ve never regretted that choice. Indeed, in future years I enjoyed singing in church choirs and ensembles, and in praise and worship in the midst of the congregation, in the car, and at home.
Now, with the gift of retrospect and Holy Spirit’s continued revelation of what He has been up to all along, my mind and heart understand He has been teaching me to sing the song of the established vines.
Why do I relate a personal story like the one above in this theme of Vineyard Days?
Because the Bridegroom delights in intimacy. None of us are faceless in His vineyard, lined up like good little soldiers enduring the heat of the summer day and the snowy, icy chill of the winter. He knows us.
As I thought about the actual timing of the seasons that singing was more prevalent in my life, my heart was bathed in healing balm. It was in times of hurt, dark, betrayal, doubt, illness and discouragement that He taught me new and deeper verses of the song of the established vines.
Such was His coaxing of the Shulamite, she who provides us with a personal view and needful encouragement in the development of a bride fitting of the Bridegroom.
‘The season of singing (pruning the vines) has come,
and the voice of the turtledove (ring dove) has been heard in our land.’
Song of Songs 2:12
Ah, the ring dove. Can you picture Him standing before His beloved vine once again?
Silently lifting up her head that He might speak to her with His eyes of love.
Stooping down to lift the prolific but trailing shoots out of the mud, tenderly washing her clean.
Gently straightening her up as He re-secures her to Himself.
Giving her a deep drink of fresh and living water.
Carefully tending to that which she needs to grow stronger with roots that dig deeper.
For He knows the heat will come, the winds will blow, and the frosty cold will cycle through her branches yet again.
And another verse to the song of the established vines will be added to her repertoire.
As hard as it is to want to be willing to entrust all of who we are to the Lord, His heart is for us. He has provided all, yes all, that we need. Why must it be so difficult to die to self that we might gain real life?
Perhaps because we like the message of life, but dying has such a finality to it.
We have learned to sing well the song of joy, emboldened and lighthearted in the house of wine. But in times of wounding, faithlessness, and deep trauma to the heart, all that comes out is a mournful moan.
Sing too the mournful moan, dear Shulamite. He longs to hear your song, joined with the other turtledoves whose voices are being heard in our land.
Ring doves, with eyes like doves’ lifted up to Him even as roots are pushing deeper, becoming established vines.
This is important work, though for now it may be hidden from the view of others. It is a season of the song of the established vines. Learn to sing on, for there will yet come well-watered fruit in its seasons.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivulets of waters,
which will give its fruit in its seasons,
and its leaf will not wither, and all which he does will prosper. Psalm 1:3 LITV
Singing still ~ 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.