November 30, 2006

Your Fragrant Groom Awaits...

I don't know about you - but I am a very scent-ual person!

A mere scent of something specific can stir up memories of nostalgia or romance, or childhood in an instant! I have a Wedding Day perfume... I don't wear it often - but I do wear it on purpose... and on my Anniversary - always... Whenever I smell it, it brings me back to that day. I love to wear all kinds of perfumes... I used to have one signature perfume... but I like to mix it up! I also LOVE LOVE LOVE scented candles and lotions and potions... to me, a good scent helps to set a mood! This will all tie in nicely in the end, you will see!

Tuesday morning, on my way to Prayer - I asked the Lord why I was not really feeling 'oh so festive' yet... Normally I am nearly done with all the madness and can sit back and enjoy the season... anyway - He simply referred me to Psalm 19. the Psalms. So, when I arrived to the meeting, I opened up my Bible and read through this Psalm. Verse 7-11 really stood out to me. This is what they say:

"The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the [whole] person; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure and bright, enlightening the eyes. The [reverent] fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even than much fine gold; they are sweeter also than honey and drippings from the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is Your servant warned (reminded, illuminated, and instructed); and in keeping them there is great reward."
(Ps 19:7-11 Amplified)

Isn't that good!? It is a very familiar portion of Scripture for me... but how just like my God to lead me here... when I am distracted by the ever-growing list of things that will need to get done in the next few weeks. I am a fairly laid back person. I love the ribbons and bows of the Holidays! But I do not want to feel like I HAVE to do them! I was reminded of a word of prophecy that was once spoken over me... at the time it cracked me up - but many times since then - I have relished in it! Someone once prayed over me and shared that "It came without ribbons, and it came without bows..." He went on to quote a bit more of that children's verse... and he added, "But it came! It CAME!" He went on to say that as much as I like the ribbons and bows - those are not necessary because the Glory of God is in me... what people want... what they MUST HAVE... is in me! Now - I share that humbly - knowing that what is in me, is also in you! Ah - there is such freedom in remembering that the glory of God resides in us... as my dear friend Sheri reminded us this week - God, Emmanuel, IS with us - always! Not just during the holidays - but always!

So - back to Ps 19. The law of the LORD is perfect... The testimony of the LORD is sure... The statutes of the LORD are right... The commandment of the LORD is pure... The fear of the LORD is clean... The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether... When we seek to decorate our hearts and homes with these things first... the word continues on and says that by them we are 'warned (reminded, illuminated, and instructed)' ... and in keeping them - there is Great Reward! Isn't that what we truly want this time of year?! This season is not all about the gifts and the presents and the hoopla - we all tell our kids that... and we mean it! But who doesn't love that perfect, thoughtful, gift!? Who doesn't desire a Great Reward? One version says it this way, "There's more: God's Word warns us of danger and directs us to hidden treasure."

As I was meditating on this portion of Scripture - the Lord had me flip in my Bible to another portion of Scripture that is Oh So familiar to me! Song of Solomon 5:2-8. I love this passage and have fed upon it time after time after time! As I was reading this passage, someone else was talking about the traditions of men and how we tend to pull them out especiallyt hsi time of year, and how we tend to hold on to them. I then heard the Lord say, "Have you not seen? Do you not know? The Glory of the Lord has risen upon you!"

Immediately I saw in the spirit a Faceless Bride - no longer in a radiant white dress, but it was dingy, and looked as if the dress itself was disappointed and let down... left at the altar, yet again. The Bride looked tired... tired of waiting... tired of standing there having yet another "Groom" not Show Up, not Step Up, not Come Through...

Then I heard Jesus - her Real Bridegroom - ask her, "Why? Why do you keep seeking - when you have already found? They will ALWAYD pale in comparison to Me... They will never be all you need them to be." Then I saw her again, eyes downcast to the empty space beside her, face vacant, heart wounded, and I saw Jesus - in a Groom's attire - standing behind her, waiting. waiting for her to Look Up, Step Back, and Lay Herself on that empty altar... to lay down her own expectations and lists of requirements that she strives to find in Man. His eyes are not downcast - they are piercing to her very soul and dripping over with Love. As she crumples on the floor in despair, she sees Him, and wonders why He is not coming to her. But, He needs her to lay herself down in Surrender, not Despair! I can see His heart is aching for her... He longs to pick her up - yet again... and carry her. He will - I can see that one day - He will... but this day - He simply reaches out to her and touches her hand. As their hands touch, I can see oil dripping down their arms.

The next 'scene' is literally the Song of Solomon chapter 5:2-8.

I saw that faceless Bride - still unwed... yet longing for her groom... "I sleep, but my heart is awake; It is the voice of my beloved!"

Jesus comes to her door... "He knocks, saying, “ Open for me, my sister, my love, My dove, my perfect one; For my head is covered with dew, My locks with the drops of the night.”

The Bride sits up and answers Him, "I have taken off my robe; How can I put it on again?" She had had another long and weary day - she had followed the Law and done the Works and still - went to bed lonely and alone. "I have washed my feet; How can I defile them?" she asked. She was tired... didn't He know?! Why couldn't He have come to the Altar when she was ready and waiting... She seemed to remember an urge to place herself up on the altar that day - and yet she washed that thought away and continued to wait besides the altar for her answered prayer. She then realized that, all the while, her 'answered prayer' was there - at the altar, waiting for her! Why had she gone looking for another - when He was the answer to every question? She knew better... and yet - she had fallen back into that old routine. It was not that He was not enough - it was that she was not surrended... not completely.

Her beloved put his hand by the latch of the door, And her heart yearned for him. The Bride arose to open for her beloved, And her hands dripped with myrrh, her fingers with liquid myrrh, On the handles of the lock.

I recall studying about this and reading that, back in the day, this was like a suitors Calling Card. He would leave a scent behind. Instead of stopping in and leaving his cell number, he would drench his hands in scented oil and so whenever his beloved would return - she would smell him and know that he was there! WAY more romantic than a phone number, don't you think?

Anyway - the Bride went and opened for her beloved,

Song of Solomon goes on to say "...But my beloved had turned away and was gone. My heart leaped up when he spoke. I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. The watchmen who went about the city found me. They struck me, they wounded me; The keepers of the walls Took my veil away from me. I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, If you find my beloved, That you tell him I am lovesick!"

You see, in the midst of our Traditions of Man and all the lists of things to do and gifts to buy... our Fragrant Groom awaits... He is patient and loving and kind... He is with us - wherever we go and whatever we are doing. He desires US... more than anything we can do FOR Him - He calls us to Him in the midst of this season and asks not for us to do MORE... but to simply BE with Him! How often have each one of us looked for a 'Groom' to fulfill that which only Christ Himself can fill in us. We come with our list of requirements and our high expectations and we look to Man and - almost always - we are left at the altar, alone... disappointed. However, in His great mercy He is there - just standing by - waiting for sweet surrender... waiting for us to break protocol, to be willing to soil our feet and put on our robe again, and run to Him when we catch a scent of His Fragrant Love!

Great Rewards? Oh yes... Hidden treasures? I know it is so!

I pray that as you enter in to December and all that this month may hold for you - you will find joy in the truths of Psalm 19. I pray that there will be joy as you prepare your heart and your home... prepare Him room in all you do, and know that your Bridegroom rejoices over you! I pray that in the midst of all your running around, all your serving and shopping... I pray you will take a moment here and there and close your eyes, stop and pray, worship Him... O Come let us adore Him... meditate, think... I am praying that you will be able to smell His Heavenly cologne and know that He is Emmanuel - God WITH YOU.

May you enjoy the sights and sounds of the Season,
and smell the Scent of His Love that He lavishes upon you!

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