The Impatient Patience of Love (An Intro to Song 1:7)

“I am tired, Beloved, of chafing my heart against moon2
The want of you;
Of squeezing it into little inkdrops,
And posting it. And I scald alone, here, under the fire
Of the great moon.
~Amy Lowell, “The Letter”
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Being in love and in a wilderness – is there any more wrenching place to be?  In the first several verses of the Song of Songs we experience the Shulamite woman in the very chambers of King Solomon. But now a few verses later she is away from him and feeling the distance.  Oh, what is one to do with the fire that love kindles? .
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To varying degrees we all relate to the frustration of separation.  Built into every fiber of our being is a longing for intimacy and closeness.  In the beginning of the world this was not an issue, when in the first creation garden the woman was inside the man and together they were securely fastened in continual and perfect communion with each other and with God.  But in a master plan of hope,¹ that included us in Christ, God took Eve out of Adam.  The “one” became “two”; fragmented by matter, distance, and time.  It was almost enough to turn the paradise into a wilderness; and that’s not even speaking for what sin, fear, and shame soon caused!

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when desire is fulfilled it is a tree of life.”  Prov.13:12 .

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The power of love…

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There is a scene in the movie “Conspiracy Theory” that struck me awhile back.  Mel Gibson is in a helicopter watching the love of his life played by Julia Roberts running for her life from a chasing assassin.  The pilot says to him, “You shouldn’t watch this. She is a woman without hope.”  Mel Gibson, who knows her well, responds, “You haven’t seen her run.” . Hope is powerful.
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Hope can turn a wilderness into a paradise.  Hope gave the woman in this movie wings.  And for the Shulamite, hope motivated her to write a note to her Beloved and then patiently wait for one to come back!

“Tell me, the one who my soul loves.  Where do you graze?  Where will you lay down at noontime?  Why should I be one who is veiled wandering beside the flocks of your companions?”  Song 1:7 .

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The movement of love…

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From what I gather in researching the background of the Song of Songs, the very wealthy Solomon owned numerous herds of animals and vineyards which he leased out.²  The Shulamite’s brothers were likely hirelings who made their sister do their work for them.  While Solomon may have occasionally visited these sites to check on them and receive dues, most likely agents were used.  I can see the Shulamite using one of these men to carry her note to Solomon. .
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I really like the image of this.  God’s love, as revealed in Christ, is not a dispassionate doctrinal concept.  His love is like passion – it has action, and it is continually passionate for the object of its passion.  And while separation is inevitable as long as we are contained in these mortal bodies, we are invited to “draw near to God, and He will draw near to you,” James 4:8.  In the case of the Shulamite and the King, there are times they appear to use the current ‘technology’ of the day to help bridge the gap between each other.  Jamal Jivanjee once said, “Nothing communicates relational freedom, love, and a desire to know another like a thoughtful question.” .
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If any of this resonates with your heart today, including the question in the song below, I pray it comforts you to know that Solomon sends an answer back to his bride as to where he will be for her, and how she can find him.  From this we can be assured – the Lord’s heart is responsive.  It is impatiently patient to be with His Bride as well.
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P.S. To be continued.

 

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¹ Romans 8:20  /  ² Song 8:11, 1:6
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  1. This song by Enya says exactly what I cried out for 14 years as I, like the Shulamite woman, wandered in a spiritual wilderness after knowing His closeness in an intimate way. He finally found me again and brought me up out of that wilderness into His loving arms once again and now I know Him in such a way that even when I don’t feel His presence, His faith in me carries me through with hope until I can feel it again.

  2. “May It Be”

    May it be an evening star
    Shines down upon you
    May it be when darkness falls
    Your heart will be true
    You walk a lonely road
    Oh! How far you are from home

    Mornie utulie (Darkness has come)
    Believe and you will find your way
    Mornie alantie (Darkness has fallen)
    A promise lives within you now

    May it be the shadow’s call
    Will fly away
    May it be you journey on
    To light the day
    When the night is overcome
    You may rise to find the sun

    Mornie utulie (Darkness has come)
    Believe and you will find your way

    Mornie alantie (Darkness has fallen)
    A promise lives within you now

    A promise lives within you now

    The song of my heart as I seek the brightness of His coming. Thanks Pam.
    Michael

  3. “A part of you has grown in me.
    And so you see, it’s you and me
    Together forever and never apart,
    Maybe in distance, but never in heart.”
    – Anonymous

  4. In patience possess your soul! Luke 21:19

    Without patience we won’t achieve anything in the kingdom of God! Walking with our God always involves the suffering/death of our self-life… and right, this is highly uncomfortable and painful….we don’t like it at all.
    Whenever suffering or a need shows up we want to get rid of it asap… and we get frustrated and even depressed if the reality doesn’t give us any hope our dreams and wishes here will ever come to pass.
    We wait… and wait… and wait… weeks… months and years pass by… and we wait… wait… wait! Will He ever come? Will my longing ever be satisfied?
    Recently a dear friend mentioned the above quotation and it immediately blew open a door of deeper understanding: In waiting on Him and in the process of waiting lies our very LIFE!
    Unfathomable things are accessed by nothing else but waiting! Blessed the one who learned to abandon the own desires and longings and found contentment in waiting!

    When we can’t achieve anything worthy with our own action, why is it so difficult to wait on Him?

    Our very life – the love of our life – the possessing of true life (what no eye has seen and no ear has heard!) waits for the ones WAITING on the Lord…. the ones that overcome their own life by waiting – ON A PROMISE!

    Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who WAIT for him. (Is. 64:3)

    For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” >>IN<>BY US<< to the glory of God. (2.Cor. 1:20)

    God did His part IN Christ and now it needs our 'Amen'… our patient waiting on Him… to see the IMPOSSIBLE to come true…

    I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. WAIT FOR THE LORD; BE STRONG AND TAKE HEART AND WAIT FOR THE LORD! (Ps. 27:13+14)

    I will wait for the Lord, even He hides His face before me. I will put my trust in him. (after Is. 8:17)

    … and so it's no wonder patience is closely knit with TRUE LOVE! The ultimate God has for us is spiced by the herb of patience to reach maturity in excellence!

    Thanks for this great post, Pam!

  5. James 1:4 ‘But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. ‘

  6. The Lord is my shepherd… I lack NOTHING.

    How wonderful it is to know that ‘God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

    What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, HOW WILL HE NOT WITH HIM FREELY GIVE US ALL THINGS? (Romans 8:28-32)

    Thank you Pam…very encouraging. :)

  7. Great comments!

  8. “The ”one” became “two”; fragmented by matter, distance, and time.”

    This is our wilderness, the perception of abandonment by the physical body alone. Jesus also experienced this on the cross.

    Our hope is the exclusive perception by the Spirit He caused to live in us, itself crying “Abba! Father!”

    “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’. Amen! Come Lord Jesus!”

    • Marsela Sava on 01/02/2014 at 12:42 am
    • Reply

    Love the post and the comments.

    In the words of the Shulumite we find the secret of the not turning aside ” O you whom my soul loves”. She does not say “whom my soul ought to love, or “desire to love”, but “that my soul loves”.
    And loving Him she desires to feed where He feeds and rest where He rests. And so it is with ourselves, it is the love of Christ filling our hearts alone, that keeps our hearts from turning aside. And yet can’t each of us confess, often we are ” as one that turns aside” to feed and rest in the earthly things? We feed in the husks of this poor world and wonder of little spiritual progress. The philosophy of this world can’t attract and less feed the souls of the lovers of Christ. If we say ” O You whom my soul loves” we will surely desire the heavenly food and the divine rest. Desire for spiritual food is the best antidote for turning aside to earthly supplies.

  9. Thank you everyone, for such wonderful contributions here!

  10. “Why should I be one who is veiled wandering beside the flocks of your companions?”

    Although she knew of his love, passion, and intimacy, there was relational distance, and she didn’t fully understand why.

    The smitten Shulamite was also not recognized by Solomon’s companions, she was veiled from their sight, even when she was in his presence.

    Today we ‘see’ her as us, we are the smitten Shulamite. Searching for our Lover touch, desiring greater intimacy, desiring to see Him face to face, and to have the unending pleasure of His presence, and Love. Yes today these qualities are ours for the taking, but we also know there is more…much more.

    Likewise we move about this world, and for the most part we are ‘veiled’, unseen by His companions. We can take great comfort in our anonymity, for her plight is ours also.

    There is much more to this story of stories, and we ‘impatiently’ await the next posting.

    Thank you so very much Pamela for your ministry of Love.

  11. This struck me: ‘God’s love, as revealed in Christ, is not a dispassionate doctrinal concept. His love is like passion – it has action, and it is continually passionate for the object of its passion.’ We are His object of passion! Makes me recognize that He is ever wooing me. To receive from Him. To come closer. Everything about our Lord is always increasing. So i would assume that His passion for us does the same. i think that it is me that is so impatient to see Him face to face. Hmmm. Something to chew on.

    1. A delicious thing to chew on, Shelby. Thank you for that:)

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