Love in the Waiting

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
St. Augustine

My family was visiting some friends the other day, and Matt noticed a sign on a piece of furniture in the dining room.  This wasn’t just any sign. It was an invitation, but not just any invitation. The teenaged girl had been asked to homecoming.  We started to ask her about it, and her excitement could not be contained, as she grinned from ear to ear and told us about the boy and how he asked her, and how happy she was to be going.  This was a big deal.  I’d never experienced being asked to a dance or some other school event by “that boy.” In fact at that age I mostly hadn’t been invited anywhere, and so being a part of this girl’s excitement, stirred up happiness and hurt in me all at the same time, and why?

We are trained from a young age to desire being wanted. Disney does an incredible job of making all little girls want to be princesses, not for the sake of being royalty, but to be desired. Romantic comedies carry these dreams into our adolescence and adulthood, and so often we are chasing not after a person, but fulfillment. It’s as if we’re screaming, “See me. Notice me. Choose me!” And sometimes we are chosen and other times we’re overlooked, and we end up feeling unattractive, unwanted, unseen. There are these deep soul wounds inflicted by the unknowing, and they attach themselves to a spirit hunger that a friend, parent or man was never meant to fill, and we are disillusioned.

We think that once we have a date or a boyfriend or when he finally asks me to marry him … if I can just have kids, if my kids will just obey me, if they would trust me … if I had a best friend, a kindred spirit who just “gets me,” then I will feel loved; I will be complete, but we’re not. We just hunger for more.  What’s worse, we can quickly give our love to the wrong thing, the wrong cause, the wrong purpose, and we are challenged again to wait.

During the holidays, we can feel the longing for love more acutely.  In fact, there are times when I am surrounded by my husband, children and extended family and can give way to an aching void … times when I forget that my worth, value, and identity come from Him alone.

This season, in those moments I am trying to recenter myself on the fact that so many years ago, love came down.  That the season is about love, and not the flawed human sort, but the kind that gives itself up for me, for you … for the world, for all eternity.  Throughout scripture, we see Him gently drawing our attention to the kind of love He will send — sends to Bethlehem — is sending again.

When we look at the Song of Solomon we get lost in the romantic language, declarations of love, descriptions of beauty, but when we focus just on that we may miss the lady urging her peers to not awaken love until the right time … until the right person comes along. They are encouraged not to give their love to the wrong thing instead of waiting for the right thing.

The way that Solomon loved his lady, how he’d found in her a great treasure, that is the way God looks at you. In fact, His love for you couldn’t be contained. No swaddling clothes or grave could hold it back. It had to leave heaven’s majesty and travel through all history to find you right where you are, just the way you are, and He poured out his love all crimson and beckoned you to Himself, because “many waters cannot quench love,” and in Him, we need no longer wait for love.

Monday: Song of Solomon 1-2; Psalm 13:5-6, 17:7-8
Tuesday: Song of Solomon 3-4; Psalm 23
Wednesday: Song of Solomon 5; Psalm 33:4-5
Thursday: Song of Solomon 6; Psalm 59:16-17
Friday: Song of Solomon 7; John 1:1-5, 3:16
Saturday: Song of Solomon 8; Matthew 1:18-24
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