Yesterday I was substitute teaching science for my former FCA teacher at the high school...and it's one of my favorite classrooms to come back to. For one, I love Sando. I've always looked up to him and respected him. On top of that, I really enjoy high schoolers, and the more "grown-up" atmosphere of the students as opposed to young kids (though I enjoy the laughs and optimism that comes with working with grade-schoolers). But what I also enjoy, is getting to be in a classroom where I have the freedom to read my bible, and see the mountains through the bay windows, and play Christian music quietly on the speakers on the computer. It't quite enjoyable and uplifting to me.
So yesterday, while the students were working on their worksheets, with Casting Crowns streaming quietly in the background of my little computer area, I had my bible propped open and was reading on several topics (suggested readings that went with each topic) that I found in the FCA materials on one of his shelves.
Among the various topics that I was looking up suggested passages was that on relationships, of all sorts, but most specifically romantic relationships. Among some of the passages that were mentioned was Song of Songs. I have never heard of this book of the bible before, and it sort of makes sense as it is a mere very short eight chapters. And on top of that it is a very brazen love song. Not something I would have thought was in the bible but was very encouraging that such a bold love song is part of the intimacy of our bible.
However a couple verses struck me.
The first: "Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death; ardent love is as unrelenting as Sheol. Love flames are fiery flames - the fiercest of all. Mighty rivers cannot extinguish love; rivers cannot sweep it away..." [Song of Songs 8:6-7]
The intensity of this love song is so powerful. Not only because I desire this sort of romantic love...but also because it's the sort of love that God has for us. Most times we picture our love from the Lord as that of a father to a child, which it is, and that of a friend to a friend, which it is. BUT it's also a very passionate, intense romantic love from our Lover to ourselves!! How amazing that my God is my Father (Protector, Providor, Counselor), my best Friend, AND my Lover!! SO cool.
However, one of the issues closest to my heart is that my heart is so guarded. The thought of romantic love is always appealing but I push away from it. Sometimes I feel that I might be wrong in this as everyone else my age seems to be mature enough to handle this part of life whereas right now I feel it's something I can't bear. Everyone else WANTS to be a girlfriend/boyfriend, fiance, wife/mother, husband/father and is doing so. Me...well I'm not there yet. But I took a lot of peace in this next verse.
"His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me. Young women of Jerusalem, I charge you, do not stir up or awaken love until the appropriate time."
[Song of Songs 8:3-4]
This warning is given several times among the intense love that the lovers in this lvoe song are singing to each other. But what a wonderful whisper the Lord gave me yesterday. I DO NOT need to awaken love before it is appropriate and right now, it just isn't appropriate or desired for my life. My God has something else planned for me and until the time when love is meant to be part of my life, I need not worry about it!
There were a great many passages that spoke to my heart but this one was the one that I think the Lord meant for me to hear most. Speaking directly to a part of my heart that I have been worrying over, He soothed my worries.
And wouldn't you know it, the next couple of verses I looked up told me not to worry! He handed Luke 12:22-34 which starts as this "...Therefore I tell you, don't worry about your life, what you will eat; or about the body, what you will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they don't sow or reap; they don't have a storeroom or a bar; yet God feeds them. Aren't you worth much more than the birds? Can any of you add a cubit to his height by worrying? If then you are not able to do even a little thing, why worry about the rest?..."
Such wonderful verses when I needed them yesterday :-)