I had a friend who was stricken with paralysis from the neck down, not just for a day, or a week or even a month, but 5 and3/4 years. Jenny could not do anything, but what she did do she did with excellence. Jenny taught me so much in that she ‘believed and trusted and waited’ for God. I write this as I remember my friend who was a most incredible witness of courage and patience and grace to me, then – and still today. Jenny forever lives in my heart…and as we had opportunity to study the Song of Solomon together we both discovered her very name, Jenny, means ‘Fair one’…
This world, with its mountains and clouds and rough seas and torrents, they come to invade and surround. This world, this world -with sunny skies welcomed, but then, the rains fall with no sign of stopping. Life can press down, oppress down, and makes the feet burdened, when the heart has no song, and it’s tempted to stop hoping.
Hoping in God is what we must always keep doing. “Increase my faith!” Is the prayer I must cry! God holds the Umbrella, His Spirit to me, that I may choose to finally step out of the comforts of despair, and take the first steps to dance even if its still raining. There’s no time for moping, one must always keep hoping. He holds out a promise to cover and protect, but sometimes I choose to reject it as I remain sitting in a big mess – with my head down and my eyes on the puddles, He bids me to ‘look up’ and see the hand of His Son, the Prince He has sent, whose eyes are on me (?), OH How can that be?
‘Come to Me,” He calls me even by name. He waits and longs that I choose to dance in the rain – to cast off the pain, to lay down the shame, to lift up my eyes to the One who paid the price of my ticket, my debt in full. He took my whole punishment upon His own flesh, so that I might begin (once again), and have…this everlasting dance with Him! He forgives all the past and makes all things new, He pulls me out of the the rough and the thicket, that I may learn what life is a-fresh! He holds out His hand that I may finally stand and put my eyes upon Him and gain the strength that is needed. He provides me new garments, off with the old, torn and dirty! He clothes me, renews me, forgives me and then, He smiles as I take hold of His righteous right hand, with the Umbrella shielding us from the cold and the rain, we take our first steps to dance in the rain!
The storm may be raging, the clouds remain dark, but the Umbrella is held that I might rise to my feet. As I look up to Him, the One reaching for my hand, my mind thinking on things higher than this earthly sand. The Comfort is present, the Help I find, as I stand in my weakness and discover new strength, to nuzzle myself between the ‘Rock of all Ages’ to ‘think on these things’ and read of His pages. A song begins to sing in my heart again, as I fancy to dance with the Prince whose been given.
A father grants permission to the young man delighted, to escort his daughter to the altar, and my Father in heaven, has provided for me, a Prince, to escort me, and walk with me and lead me today, even amid the rough places and the color-less grey. He called me by name, He didn’t give up. He asked that I might step out of the darkness and stand, even amidst the hurt, and all of the pain, to take His hand. That I might even ‘feel’ His touch and His healing, yesterday and forever, His hand is held out, that I might accept it whole-hearted, to join the One who loves me to dance in the rain.
And with each step I’m taking, I’m growing in my own understanding just how my Prince truly loves…me. He loved me first, He gave His life for my sin, how can that be? His thoughts are so high – He is fairer than the sons of men, so much fairer is He. He is a Rock, a fortress, a buckler, ’tis true-but He’s also the Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the Valley, He’s the sunset and sunrise, He’s the sparkle in the spring, He’s lovely, He’s ever-present, and He sings over me!
How my Prince loves me! It is said in His word: “Like a lily among thorns, So is my love among the daughters.” I am His ‘lily’, and He sees the thorns -how they hurt and tear and cause my heart to bleed, but My love He knows, oh yes, He knows all about thorns, when they were pressed so harshly on His brow, He knows a broken heart, He knows, He sees, and He’s there – He waited for me…
“The voice of my beloved! Behold He comes leaping upon the mountains. Skipping upon the hills.” He skips and leaps but even the hills overwhelm me. ‘My beloved spoke, and said to me: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away…” His voice melts my fear. But He loved me even when I slept on my bed and didn’t make the choice to turn my head:
” My Beloved came to His garden, and He knocked on the door in the night, saying, “Open for me, my sister, my love, my dove, my perfect one; for my head is covered with dew…”but I was tired and just wanted sleep, so from my bed I didn’t move… But when I came to my senses and opened the door, He was nowhere to be seen. He was far out of sight!
So I went searching and asking all around, “Have you seen the one I love?” And it was then, in my search that I found the One…It is written in the Song of all Songs, the words of this pen. In my search I discovered His love never changes. His canopy of love, is there – it surrounds me. His banner over me… He sings: “Behold, you are fair my love! Behold you are fair! You have dove’s eyes behind your veil…””You are fair my love, and there is no spot in you… You have ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; you have ravished my heart… “A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse, a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.” Oh, how I’ve discovered when I lift up my eyes, I see no more puddles, just grace and love.
I’m protected and given life everlasting, and so, I bow my head in the midst of the dance, giving thanks to My Father who is in heaven. I’m thankful my Prince never gave up on me. I’m thankful the Umbrella is held out daily. That I might see clearly my Prince who loves me. He reaches out His hand, that I might look up in His eyes, and respond to His love and surrender to Him: “Let my beloved come to his garden and eat of its fruits.” I am nothing alone, I know that now, so I empty myself that I might be filled to the full. Filled with His love this time around, filled with His fruit that love may abound!
May I receive and respond and dance with great joy, even if the skies are dark and with storm, and may my words tell of the One I love: “Yes, He is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters, O daughters of Jerusalem!” This is my story, this is my song:“I am my beloved’s. And my beloved is mine.” “Set me as a seal upon Your heart.” These may be words from the Song of all Songs, yet today they’re all mine – He’s given me a new start. A new start each day, His mercies are new every morning: “He has brought me to His banqueting house, And His banner over me is love”. I love my Jesus, maybe now you see why. I tell you the story, of the Umbrella in the rain, because I want you to know of the Prince who is waiting. He is waiting for you to take His hand as I do, yesterday, and today and for all life never-ending, “He has brought me to His banqueting house, and His love is never fails. Today, I share my Prince with you. He loves you the same, yes He does! It is true!
(Song of Solomon 2:1,2. Song of Solomon 2:4.Song of Solomon 2:10.)