I wrote an article a few years ago, “The huge legs and the one that ran”, and it drew emphases on the God that came running to us, even when we ran the other way. The woman in Songs of Solomon reminds me of the same God that reaches out to us when we silently slip off the road, gets drawn away, or carelessly stray from His presence.
I have often wondered why I ask for certain things and God grants me so speedily, yet it seems He closes his ears to what I think matter the most. He has taught me times without number that with those, I will hang on much longer in His presence until he heard me. No wonder, my faith became strong after each trial. In my trials, I feel His hands deep in my bowels reaching out and teaching me obedience, faith, reliance and trust in Him. I find him stretching out his hands beyond my inner longings and calling out for me. I now know why I feel empty when I stray. I can now tell you why there is so much of emptiness in the world and why there are so many depressed people. We all have doors in our heart and pain often unlocks it. And when it does, our heart moves out to him.
God uses fire to make us come out as gold. It is fire; unpleasant, hot, uncontrollable, uncomfortable, painful, beaming, oozing from every end, could be mild and then explode, could explode and be mild. It could be an inevitable tragedy, a tragic incident, a sliding sickness, an aggravating pain, a son locked in prison for manslaughter, a daughter caught with heroine or a divorce paper. But our assurance is in Is. 43:2, “When we walk through the fire, we will not be burned; the flames will not set us ablaze.” Job had this understanding that was why he said, “But He knows the way that I take: when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” I now understand the phrase, “when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold”.
Joan felt empty, attempted suicide several times until one evening; she felt, the calming arms of a man reaching into that emptiness. Jordan was in his 70’s with a fantastic life until his daughter got lost in the fallen world of modelling, his son was locked in prison, his younger daughter hospitalized for over timed homemade bomb, his marriage began failing and health began to deteriorate. In his words, “my perfect life disintegrated; I could not take it anymore” until I cried to heaven.
God understands our pains, hurts and disappointments. He didn't cause them but he uses them to bring us out to him and to reaffirm to us that He is there with us. Did the world end for Jordan? Of course not! His first son and his wife now pastor a church. His oldest daughter and husband now have six children.
That brings us to the summary that God uses trials to catch our attention, discipline us, and correct us from our wrong doing and thinking; teaching our hands to wage war against our enemy and making us more compassionate. How else will one know sickness, if one has never been ill? How else can the arrows in our hand be apt to fight, if it has never been tried? How else can we tell of his faithfulness, if we have never been tested? One more thing, if you are under discipline, just remember that the faster you yield to His call, the shorter the length of the fire. And, when he has tried you, you shall come forth as gold.
“My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.”
He is expecting you to respond to his call. What are you waiting for?