Our four legged buddy, Toby-the-Saint-Berdoodle loves to be with us. He enjoys going for a walk and rides in the truck. If I go to the front living room, he goes with me. When I take a nap in the back, he’s right there waiting for me to get up. When I am outside working or reading, he sits and stares out the door until we let him outside. And when we leave him for a few hours he won’t eat or drink until we get back and often sits up in the window pouting as he watches us leave. He seems to truly love to be with Sandy and me.
And although it’s is an extremely inadequate analogy, Toby’s desire to be near Sandy and me reminds me a bit of our longing for Jesus. And, please forgive me, perhaps even His longing for us.
In the Old Testament of the Bible, The Song of Solomon has been understood by the church in very different ways, which you can explore with a little research. It is my opinion that it is a celebration of a loving marriage, which can rightly allude to Christ’s love for his bride, the church.
If my interpretation is correct (or even remotely pointing in the right direction), and if the four verses in 2:10-13 might be a picture of Christ’s feelings for his people (for YOU and ME), then I would have to conclude that our Lord is looking forward to the homecoming He has prepared for us with greater anticipation, with more longing than even we are of seeing Him! Oh can it be, Father?!?
Song of Songs 2:10-13
“My beloved responded and said to me,
‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one,
And come along.
‘For behold, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
‘The flowers have already appeared in the land;
The time has arrived for pruning the vines,
And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land.
‘The fig tree has ripened its figs,
And the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance.
Arise, my darling, my beautiful one,
And come along!’”
Did you notice that this short passage both begins and ends with this phrase, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along!” Given my personal interpretation, my imagination wonders if this might be the first thing we hear Jesus say to us when we cross over from this age into the next. Perhaps it looks something like this:
I wake as from a very deep sleep, as if awakened from the midst of a heavy dream. I’m dreaming I was dying, some pain, some fear, but mostly just a slipping away into the deep. But then I feel a gentle touch, an easy nudging of my shoulder. Consciousness begins to stir, the dream is slipping away.
I try to open my eyes but it’s too much, I quickly squeeze them closed. Too bright, where am I? Still in the dream? No, I don’t think so. Trying again to rouse myself I realize I am lying on my back in what feels like luxuriously soft grass. Confused, fascinated I squint my eyes open again, peeking up through my fingers. Brilliant blue sky, a soft breeze, the wonderful aromas of a fresh mountain meadow filled with blossoms, serenaded by a joyfully giggling stream.
I don’t understand – was it really just a dream or wasn’t I just moments ago lying in my bed, Sandy squeezing my hand, whispering, ‘I love you!’
Where. Am. I??
And then I see Him. Bending down to me with a broad smile, gently moving my shoulder with one hand while offering to lift me up with the other He says,
“Stand my beautiful friend, and come walk with me! I am so very, very glad you are home! Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone. The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air. The fig trees are forming young fruit, and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming. Stand my beautiful friend, and come walk with me!”
(Based on the New Living Translation)
I long to see Jesus one day soon, as I know many of you do, too. And as crazy (outrageous!) as it sounds, I am quite convinced He longs far more to see us. Think of it, my friend!