Sunday, 12 February 2017

Beloved: '...your love is better than wine.'

10 Minute Daily Retreat - Read the Word of God with a prayerful heart.
By Susanne Timpani (No. 229)

2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!
For your love is better than wine,
3     your anointing oils are fragrant,
your name is perfume poured out;
    therefore the maidens love you.
4 Draw me after you, let us make haste.
The king has brought me into his chambers...

7 Tell me, you whom my soul loves,
    where you pasture your flock,
    where you make it lie down at noon;

I tapped impatiently on the steering wheel, waiting for the church car park to clear. It had been a long, hot Service and I felt totally washed out. The sermon had urged us to seek an experience of spiritual renewal. There was nothing fresh about my spirit. Physically tired from long shifts, mentally drained from study and emotionally wrecked from house sharing, there was little room for spiritual growth.

In my naivety I didn’t recognize this very place as God's watering hole. My voiceless surrender that my search for Him was way too hard opened a spiritual door. 

In the confines of my beat up old car, something very deep stirred in my spirit. This was a 'before and after' moment. There are theological terms for this experience. I prefer to call it my falling in love moment.

Did my spirit ever again experience the dry thirst of the 'before'? Absolutely. The glimmer of first love dulls as we face life's hurdles.

In today's verses from Solomon's Song of Songs, the Beloved is fresh with new love. She's bursting at the seams to tell us how amazing her Lover is. Yet the verses end with the Beloved asking the Lover to take her someplace else.

Perhaps she no longer experiences Him in her everyday life. After a time she loses sight of Him completely. She calls out, asking where she can find Him.

We're no different. There are times when we fail to hear God's voice in the quiet of our prayer. We can be tempted to give in, saying He's not there. It's in those moments that we need to reflect and believe in God's Word:

'Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord…'Jeremiah 29:12-14a