Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Arise, and Come Away

"My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.  For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; the fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell.  Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away."
Song of Solomon 2:10-13 (KJV)

Do you hear Him?  Calling you?
Shhh!  You must listen.
And be still.
His voice is not loud or overpowering.
It is small and still.

Winter is officially over.
Flowers appear on the earth.
The time of the singing of birds is come.  How sweet they sound!
God is present....everywhere I look, in every direction I turn my ear, and in the fragrance of each flower I take the time to stop and smell.

It is as if God is saying, "Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.  I manifest Myself to you through your senses...that I created.  See, hear, smell, and feel My beauty?  All around you?  Ah!  Now I have your attention!  There are things I want to share with you.  Leave everything.
Come away, with Me, My child,"

How can anyone gaze upon the newness, the beauty of spring...and never turn their hearts and minds towards Him?

How can any deny His existence?  His power?  His magnitude?  His presence?

It is hard to find peace and quiet in our modern world.
It takes effort to discover serenity.
It requires diligence to find time...and a place of solitude.
Yet, we all crave it.
We all need a place to think...and listen to God...and pray.

It is quite difficult to do a crowded, noisy place.  

So, He beckons to "come away".
From it all.
It is up to us to pay attention.
To follow His cue.

We sing a song called "Thinking of Thee".
Each time I hear it, I am compelled to come aside from the noisiness and busyness of life.  
To meet with my Beloved and see what He wants to share with me.  
Oh, it is worth it!
Here are the words...

"Alone in some secure retreat,
The sky o'ershadows me;
All nature sings so calm and sweet,
I'm thinking, Lord, of Thee."

"Thinking of Thee,
Oh, Lord of Thee;
Musing on things above,
'Til every chord within my soul,
Is tuned with Heavenly love."

I wish I could sing the melody to you.  It is beautiful.  But, more than that, I wish I could portray the picture to you....of Jesus and His sweetness.  Of the deep-seated joy He gives.  Of the profound benefits of spending quiet time...alone with Him.  In some secure retreat...with the sky o'ershadowing and nature singing so calm and sweet....His presence so incredibly near.  That you can almost touch Him.

When He calls, did you ever think it is not only for our benefit?
That He has another reason?

God created all sorts of animals in the Garden of Eden.  And though He surveyed all of His creation and called it "very good", and the animals were of every shape and size, He did not find what He sought.  
What His heart craved. 

The animals couldn't talk back; they couldn't communicate; they couldn't choose to be with Him.
Something was lacking.

God wanted a being, a creature...that wanted Him.
That longed for Him.
Desired a relationship with Him.

So, at the very end of His creation process, He created His best...His crowning masterpiece....something in His Own image.  Something that was very much a part of Himself.
He called it man...and woman.
And in them, He placed a deep longing, a keen desire....for Himself.
For time with Him.  For His approval.  For conversation with Him.
To know His mind...and His heart.

Just like our marriages and other relationships have the need to be continually nurtured and nourished, 
so our relationship with Almighty God.  

I have heard Him call to me.
Countless times....through His still, small, familiar, sweet voice.
Through the beauty of nature.
Through the site of a secluded, solitary spot.

From the strife, confusion, noise, and stress of everyday life....
to a place where He can speak...uninterrupted.
Sometimes, right in the midst of something important, and I have felt the temptation to put those things ahead of my time with Him.
Sadly, more times than one, I have yielded to that temptation.
Thankfully, some of those times, I have yielded to Him, instead of the temptation to put Him off.

It was when I made the choice, that I put Him first, that I listened to His compelling call, that I dropped all else, and came away with Him, that I have lived the sweetest moments....enjoyed the sweetest communion.

What peace He brings!
In the stillness.
With everything else shut out.
Just me....and Him.

Do you hear Him calling, my friend?

You are His love, His fair one, His child.
You are His bride, His church...for whom He gave His life.

His words to you....
"Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee."  
Jeremiah 31:3 (KJV)

Can you hear Him...feel Him...beckoning...drawing you?
Through the majesty of springtime?

Will you leave all else to follow Him?
Won't you arise, and come away

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