Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits,
With henna and nard, nard and saffron,
calamus and cinnamon,
With every kind of incense tree,
With myrrh and aloes and all the finest spices.
You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water
streaming down from Lebanon
Song of Songs 4:13-14 (NIV)
This poetry establishes how sweet, aromatic, fertile, humble, strong, ripe, graceful, stately, fervent and abundant God’s love is for His creation. The wood of Lebanon symbolises His holiness, truth and perseverance.
Jesus is sitting, waiting in that garden, His garden of choice fruits, for you and me. It’s a heady picture of His intimate, up-close-and-personal, all-knowing, all-caring, illuminating nature.
It takes time, spent in His garden, to be truly changed by it. Imagine, if we were to spend time in that garden every day, knowing who we were visiting with, how different we would feel on the inside, and then how differently we would behave in our lives.
He enjoys the shaded fragrance of that garden dripping with scent, the rich oils of intimacy produced from the blossoms, the nourishing soil that establishes growth, the fresh running water of the Holy Spirit, the shade under the great trees providing comfort, the cool breeze of His love....
While we’re out in the scorching sun, getting burnt to a crisp, sweltering, sweating, uncomfortable and irritable.
And He waits, watching, surely thinking, why oh why do they do this to themselves, when I’m right here? I’ve shown them. I’ve told them. Why don’t they come near to me and receive what I have prepared for them?
Be still, He says, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).
Why do we run from such intimacy and kindness? Why do we run from being still, inside His Presence?
This is what He desires. Jesus, our Creator, the only Word that speaks life into our souls, the romantic lover, the strident warrior that fights over us, is wanting our best. Truly powerful and heroic, He is all in all and He desires this personal, reciprocal relationship with us. If we don’t wish to receive this love and participate in it, sadly, we are already too empty.
But it’s never too late to come into that place of divine rest. It’s our move. He’s already made the way.
Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”