I’ve been struggling with the word “Beloved” ever since Bonnie Gray gave us this prompt. I wanted to ignore this one, but the word keeps pursuing me and won’t leave me.
I looked up synonyms for “beloved” and found deep words like: dear, loved, valued, prized, dearest, sweet, admired, treasured, precious, darling, worshipped, adored, cherished, revered.
Do I love Jesus with such depth that I can call Him my beloved like the bride in Song of Solomon, “My beloved is mine and I am His?” Do I cherish Him and revere Him? Do I treasure Him above all else? Can I in sincerity call Him “Darling?”
I fall so far short of the deep-seated love I want to have for Jesus, like a bride for her Bridegroom. Though I will never have perfect love until that day when I may be with Him forever, it comforts me to know that the Bridegroom’s love for me is already always beyond perfect. His love is never fickle, fluctuating, or frosty like mine is.
Even though He knows all my imperfections, He freely invites me as His beloved bride:
“Arise, My darling, My beautiful one, come with Me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, My darling; My beautiful one, come with Me.” (Song of Songs 2:10-13)
My heart can’t fathom it. His darling? His beautiful one? Isn’t He talking to someone else here?
He is talking to me. And to you. He invites each of us to open the eyes of our hearts to see that the winter is past:
See! Flowers are vibrant with color! Hear! The birds sing! The doves coo! Smell! Vines spread their fragrance! Just take my Hand and join Me. Get out of this desolate state of your heart. You don’t have to stay frozen and afraid. You can bear fruit, too. In ME. So get up and come with Me.
I know this in my head, but my heart still struggles with it. My legs still feel weak to rise up and follow. My hands still feel weak to take hold of His. My faith is still weak. Especially in times of vulnerability. Like now.
I have a chronic illness – sarcoidosis. It’s an inflammatory disease that makes me ache all over, especially in my chest. A chronic cough plagues me. When I get sick, it flares up big time. My airways feel fiery. It hurts more to talk. My bones hurt. And my brain gets foggy. The treatment is antibiotics and larger doses of Prednisone. Not fun.
But do you know what the worst part is? When I am sick and so worn out, it’s so hard to fight off the negative voices and replace them with God’s positive promises, especially that I am His beloved. It’s so hard to believe it when I don’t feel well. When He can remove this thorn if He wants to.
But ok. I’m sorry, God. I know You have told me time and again, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” This too will pass, and someday I’ll understand all this.
I have to go. I’m sorry if I sound like I’m whining, but this year I’m trying to be more honest with myself, with others, with God. Not to always say “”I’m fine” when I’m not.
I started this post the other day before I got sick again. I figured I’d just forget about it. But that word is still pursuing me – “Beloved.” And my heart said, “Get up and finish it…”
So here it is with all its ramblings, imperfect just like I am. Imperfect and yet “beloved.”
Thank you, Bonnie Gray at Faith Barista, for encouraging me to be open-hearted and honest. Praying that you and all of us will answer our Beloved’s call – “Arise, My darling, My beautiful one, come with Me.”