The Rose of Sharon

The Rose of Sharon
The Rose of Sharon

“I am the rose of Sharon, The lily of the valleys.”Song of Solomon 2:1 NASB

I haven’t spent much time in The Song of Solomon, but God used a beautiful flower to draw my attention to chapter two today. Solomon’s open intimacy always makes me blush because I feel as if I’m reading someone else’s love letter or spying on two lovers.

After studying hard all morning, I went to the garden to relax for a moment. The warm sun and gentle breeze embraced me as I talked to God about things that were on my heart.

I’ve always been close to God, but His presence was more powerful than ever as I looked at the rose of Sharon bushes blowing in the breeze and listened to the water flowing in the fountain. He took my breath away!

It reminded me of a time decades ago when our love was brand new. God made it clear that He missed the intimacy we once shared. I wasn’t sure what to think about that, but I couldn’t turn away.

Christ is the rose of Sharon and loves me more than I can begin to imagine. The image of God wanting and waiting for me was embarrassing. How in the world could my Creator be enamored with me? He didn’t let up, so I simply sat in awe of His majesty and soaked in His love.

When I came home, I went to The Song of Solomon and read chapter two hoping to recreate the feeling I had in the garden. It was embarrassing. Again, how could God love me that way? I read it until I believed the beautiful song was meant for me.

Solomon knew God’s love, and his father David was a man after God’s own heart. Both men understood the intimacy God desires, and both describe that love in their songs. I went away from the garden with an exquisite sense of love that Solomon captures beautifully in his song. The level of intimacy he describes takes my heart out of its comfort zone because the level of love God desires does just that.

God wants me to understand the depth of His love, and Solomon’s image of a bride and groom admiring one another did that for me today. Christ loves like a groom longing for His bride. Like any groom, He hopes His bride will feel the same way about Him.

The beauty of my time in the garden with God today was being as vulnerable as I’ve ever been in my life. In that moment of openness, I knew I was loved and cherished as only a bride can be. I finally saw myself as the bride God bids me to be. There aren’t words to describe how that affected my heart. Suffice it to say that I’m not who I was, but I am who God created me to be. I’m thankful I was in that beautiful moment long enough to know that I can never settle for less again.

I took a bloom from that Rose of Sharon bush and decided to press it so I could keep it as a reminder of God’s lessons today. I opened the heavy Impressionist art book by my television and had to laugh out loud when I saw my baby picture smiling up at me. I put it in the book because, like my heart, it needed a little smoothing out.

I marvel at God’s ways and love the how He uses images to get His lessons across to me. The smiling baby me was a powerful image that reminded me God has always loved me and always will. I pray my love for Him will always be like the bride in The Song of Solomon. He deserves the very best when it comes to love, and so do I 🙂

Baby Gigi

How’s Your Love Life?

When fishing for details about intimacy, folks used to ask, “How’s your love life?” Friends, strangers, and even doctors would ask the question to gauge how things were going in regard to relationship. Physical intimacy is still a measure in the minds of many when it comes to love. The lessons this week have been about God’s abstracts conflicting with the world’s concretes. Love is abstract, and that makes it difficult to define and even harder to measure. Physical contact is part of the gauge we use to determine how loved we are. God took abstract love and made it concrete when He entered the world in human form. He understands our need to measure that which defies measurement.

I’m a hugger, so physical contact is very important to me. I respect those who do not like to touch or be touched, but I love to be held. I’m glad I’m surrounded with friends and family who offer hugs to me and accept the hugs I offer to them. It feeds my soul to be touched, and I love being close enough to my son and his sweet family to get my fill of hugs each and every day. When I find myself with a physical intimacy deficit, I remember Christ’s precious love, and that gives intimacy a new meaning and fills me with His sweet Spirit.

I’m learning abstract measures are more powerful than concrete ones when it comes to measuring my love life. God is redefining love for me and changing my heart in the process. He is helping me understand that the most valuable things in this world and the next cannot be held or seen. Love, grace, forgiveness, faith, hope, compassion, joy, and peace are all beautifully abstract, and there is nothing more real. As I get away from my need for concrete evidence and physical proof, I’m finding my love life is improving dramatically:)