It's been another night of being home alone for too many hours. My husband works at a country club and often has to work pretty late for weddings and other events. Around 7:00 I got hungry, so my sister picked me up and we went out to eat. Coming home to an empty apartment when it's dark outside will never be on my list of favorite things to do. I ashamedly admit that I am a very fearful person. Part of it stems from the fact that since we live in an apartment I know that there are copies of our keys for the landlord or a maintenance worker to use floating around somewhere, and if the wrong person got ahold of that key... But then I think about how the Lord led us here, it was His will for us to find this apartment. I have to remind myself that He wouldn't lead me somewhere where I'd be in danger.
It's not like I was sobbing and deathly afraid, but I had that uneasy feeling - the one that makes you look behind the shower curtain, under the bed, in all the closets, and behind all the doors. And I just couldn't shake it off. It's when I realized that I needed to be with the Lord. Just saying JESUS brings peace to my soul. It is breathtaking and puts me in awe to think about how much power his name holds. I had already read several advent devotionals for the day, I thought about putting in a DVD of a church service, but instead I decided to listen to a Bible study on the third chapter of the Song of Solomon by the pastor from our church in Mansfield, Bro. Baer. The study is an hour and nine minutes long and I've only gone through the first 13.5 minutes of it. And I am already feeling so beyond thankful for the hunger in my soul that only Jesus satisfies again and again!
In the third chapter of the Song of Solomon, the first five verses are describing the bride-to-be. She is restless-- unable to sleep, and is looking for her bridegroom but can't find him. Spiritually speaking, she was restless because she was unable to rest from sin, which means she can't rest in Christ. But she had this deep desire and intense yearning to have a relationship with Christ, but she was unable to find him at that level.
Here are some quotes from the study that describe why she was unable to find her bridegroom:
- "There is a place where the church was at for a great bulk of its history where the level of relationship that an individual had with Christ was severely limited."
- "When the church fell away, the ability for individuals to have the type of relationship they could've had with Christ during the early church period was severely curtailed."
- "The moving of the Spirit of God dropped off dramatically after the first century."
- "The order and operation of the church became tainted with political and philosophical conditions that began a downslide of the church, making it incapable to produce overcomers."
As I was listening to this study and reading the verses, my heart felt miserably broken for this person who had a hunger in her soul that nothing could satisfy. And it made me immensely and extremely thankful -- so, so thankful for Jesus and the relationship I have with him. Sometimes when I go a day or two without really taking time to pray or sit down to read God's word and just be with Him, I start to feel a hunger for it. Sometimes I don't realize what it is at first, but I find myself becoming more irritable and less joyful. And eventually it hits me. I apologize to the Lord for not putting Him first and then spend time with him.
But imagine having that feeling and it never going away. It makes me cry just thinking about it because I cannot put into words how truly and deeply thankful I am. Thank you Lord, for filling those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. It's something that I am sad to say many of us take for granted. But what if one day we had that feeling and tried to fill it with the Lord only to find that He was just out of reach and we didn't know what to do to reach Him.
The study then went on to describe the fifth chapter, which is just going more in depth of how the person feels, longing for their beloved and not being able to find him. It makes me think of how much I love my husband; I love him so much it hurts. And it would hurt so deeply if he was taken away from me and became just out of reach. If he could speak to me and knock at my door, but then when I called to him and he didn't reply I would be in extreme despair. And if I would feel that way with my earthly husband, it's hard to comprehend how much more it would hurt to feel that way with Jesus.
So tonight I am thanking Him for filling me with life, joy, peace, truth, love, and so many more wonderful and beautiful things that those who lived in centuries past haven't always gotten to feel so freely but yet they yearned for so deeply.