"If you find my beloved, tell him I am sick with love."
This smacked me in the face.
How easy it is for me to feel like the Lord has abandoned me, like he has left or hidden his face from me! Yet am I sick with love for him? Do I seek him and call him, waiting for his answer? Only sometimes.
As much as I would love to pretend that I am always so in love with Jesus that I would sacrifice and do anything possible to find him, many times I'm just not. It's a very humbling and sobering thought. I can identify with the woman because I have been in that position before - so completely in love with Jesus that my soul failed when he spoke, and I could not stop searching for a deeper intimacy with him. But if I'm totally honest, sometimes that fades. I get busy, and I forget to stay focused on the truest, deepest desires of my heart: being grounded in my relationship with God.
Don't get me wrong - just as in human relationships, I know that feelings are fleeting. My full love for God is not defined by or expressed in emotions. But on a fundamental level I know that our greatest journey in this life is the pursuit of Christ. That is what we are made for! And we will be truly happy only when we let ourselves set out on the adventure to discover the heart of Jesus. As with anything truly good and worthwhile in life, sometimes we just have to remind ourselves why we're fighting.
I encourage you to read this passage a few times and reflect on these questions: Does Jesus make my heart flutter? Can I sense him gently saying to me, "Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my perfect one?" Do I pursue God to a point that I am willing to stand my ground in the face of others beating or wounding me with their words? If Jesus has hidden himself for a time, am I afraid?
The woman here is courageous. Love has given her an identity, unselfish motives, and a sense of purpose. Let us ask God to begin this transformation in us as well.