“Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” Song of Songs 2:7 (NIV)
I remember my quick scan of the reading schedule to see how many days this Song of Songs would be spread out and was relieved that it was only one day. I was really intimidated by this book and considered myself off the hook, thinking what are the chances I’d get (to post about) it? Well, imagine my surprise when I did. I even tried to trade with someone, but I’m glad she didn’t let me off the hook.
I’m sure there are plenty of commentaries about Song of Songs and many interpretations. I haven’t read them. But I’ll press on–chapters that are thick with longing and love, anticipation, richness. It’s so very personal, sensual, like tapping into a lover’s journal, it makes me blush: should I be reading this?
But what does any of this have to do with me–a later-in-life Christian who has made plenty of mistakes and lived to regret them? What could this text say to me today? I chewed on these words for nearly two weeks. And this is the verse that pops out at me. Maybe not for whatever it is intended to convey to a young person or to speak of a waiting church or something people much smarter than I have explained it to be.
I overheard a friend talking to one of her kids about struggles they were facing and tempting responses they might have had. And she mentioned this–that sometimes the choices we make don’t lead us to the best that God has for us. I even thought of her words when I read this verse, and then everything got deeper. In haste, in fear, in anger, in sadness, in desperation, and even in love, I could find myself responding in any situation in a way that may not be God’s best for me.
This verse says not to awaken love until it so desires–wouldn’t that be the best? Let love mature, ripen, blossom–and then be amazed at what unfolds. This verse said to me wait on the Lord. To me, it’s about patience and time to mature. Waiting on the Lord, consulting him, seeking him and following him–wouldn’t that lead me to the best he has for me? Wouldn’t his way be better than anything I could come up with?
In haste, in fear, in anger, in sadness, in desperation, and even in love, don’t be impulsive. Be patient. Wait on the Lord because his way is way better. And there won’t ever be regrets.
Father, you have always wanted the best for me–but in my haste, I have often chosen my own way instead of yours. I later learned of joys I had unknowingly forfeited. Sometimes the impulse is obvious, and sometimes a situation is confusing. I don’t always know how to react, and I’m not sure if my responses lead me towards your best for me or not. Please help me with that–to wait on you and hear you. I don’t want to rely on me anymore. Amen.