* These thoughts came to me as I read Song of Solomon. If you haven't read this unusual book of the Bible, this probably won't make much sense to you. As usual, I'm very open here about the journey I'm on in life, and specifically, with some healing God is doing in my heart. I share so openly in the hope that my honesty might speak to where someone else is at, for with authenticity comes freedom. *
Song of Solomon 2:1 - "I am...the lily of the valleys."
The path to healing is certainly not a paved one, but for me, it is rooted in the knowledge of my true identity in Christ. In my mind's eye, I see a valley, not too far from the base of a mountain. Where the mountain has a rugged beauty, containing wildlife and plantlife and the elements of nature, the valley is rocky, shadowed and desolate in comparison. But somehow, peering closely into this valley, my eyes fix on a splash of color. A beautiful, tenacious lily springing up between the rocks. Not much sunlight reaches here, yet still the lily thrives. The lily defies the odds, not by striving, simply through being. In season, the lily grows and flourishes in beauty against her bleak backdrop. She remains, knowing she is the lily of the valley.
Song of Solomon 2:15 - "Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes."
I'll be a little vulnerable here, if you don't mind, but it's for a purpose. There is a recurring theme of rejection in my dreams the past few months; an insidious lie that I am the least likely to be loved with a faithful, lasting love. These lies are the little foxes that I must catch, for they endanger the life and healing of my heart. And the way I catch them is through forgiveness. I choose to forgive: for the judgment passed on me through rejection, for the inability of another to see my true beauty and value, for all the broken promises and failed love. I catch these little foxes and place them back at the cross of Jesus, and I release them from my debt. They owe me nothing - nothing. And I, in turn, am released from their judgment. I am free to love and to be loved.
Song of Solomon 1:13 - "A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me, that lies all night between my breasts."
At the risk of sounding risque here, I merely love this imagery. The imagery of Jesus, my Beloved, being like a bundle of myrrh resting at night on my chest, near my heart. It speaks to me of His sweet fragrance, for myrrh is fragrant, used in incense and perfume. The fragrance of Jesus is salvation, grace, forgiveness, joy, healing, love, peace and life. I want that near my heart at all times. It speaks to me of Jesus as the Anointed One who covers me, for myrrh is an essential ingredient in sacred anointing oil. And it speaks to me of His ability to soothe the pain of a wounded heart with His love. Some bible scholars believe the sour wine offered to Jesus when He cried out on the cross was a mixture containing myrrh and would have helped moderate His excruciating pain. He refused it; but He offers Himself to us as our anointing oil.
That this verse speaks specifically of Christ's presence in the night resonates with me, particularly in light of the recurring dreams. I need not be tormented or disturbed in the night with the presence of Jesus resting upon my chest as I sleep. There is an intimacy conveyed in this that has nothing to do with "doing" and everything to do with position. I am positioned, in rest, with the anointing of Christ, in a posture of safety, trust and intimacy.
I know who I am. I am the lily of the valley, thriving in, at times, difficult terrain. Through forgiveness, I am catching the little foxes - the lies that often emerge from being hurt - that threaten the growth that is happening in my life. And my heart is covered by the fragrant, anointing presence of Christ, in a position of rest.
Yes, I am my Beloved's, and He is mine.