The Call of Love
Let’s be honest, Jesus asks us to do scary things. Uncomfortable things. Things that we actually work really hard in our life to avoid. It is easy to fall into the mindset that Jesus is in our lives to keep us from those things that threaten our bubble of security. Instead, following Jesus can sometimes feel a bit….messy. Maybe a better way to say it is out of our “control”.
And this is right where Jesus wants us.
We don’t always partner with the idea of being called into deep, stormy waters as a call of love- but the Word tells us that’s exactly what it is. Song of songs is a perfect illustration of the call to deeper love and trust with the Lord. The bride and the beloved.
“Arise, my dearest. Hurry, my darling.
Come away with me!
I have come as you have asked
to draw you to my heart and lead you out.
For now is the time, my beautiful one…
Can you not discern this new day of destiny
breaking forth around you?
The early signs of my purposes and plans
are bursting forth.
The budding vines of new life
are now blooming everywhere.
The fragrance of their flowers whispers,
“There is change in the air.”
Arise, my love, my beautiful companion,
and run with me to the higher place.
For now is the time to arise and come away with me.”
Song of Songs 2:10-13 (The Passion Translation)
The beloved is calling his bride to the high places. It’s a song of love. High places of greater faith, love, trust, etc. Perhaps greater challenges and encounters with the unknown.
This face to face encounter with the unknown is something my family and I are experiencing this very moment. In the fall of this year, we will leave our home, jobs, friends, and family to step into full time missions internationally. Leaving behind those things that are so dear to us. We couldn’t be more thrilled, as this is something we have dreamed of for a long time. And yet, the moment we said yes, fear began to knock. “Are you sure you want to leave behind family?” “What about your community?” “How will you support your family financially?” “Well you can just give up any idea of having a home because you ain’t never getting that…” “are your kids going to be safe? Aren’t you putting them in danger?” “What if you fail?” “Sounds lonely” “is it really worth it?”
All these questions came to a head one day while I was worshiping Jesus. All this fear trying to settle, trying to get me to question the call the Lord had given us. What truth could I hold onto? Do I really have the assurance that any of this really won’t happen? That those things that I fear the most won’t really come to pass? Are these intimidations real? Are they valid?
I heard the Lord in that moment say “you don’t want to surrender to me”. I knew he was trying to show me that the answer I was seeking to all these questions was found in surrender. But I was honest with Him, I didn’t want to surrender. I felt the Lord speak to my heart, “I know”. And all I could answer back was, “help me!”. As I sat there, His voice came like a sharp knife, cutting me right to the heart, “you don’t believe that I’m worth it”.
Many times the enjoyment of what the Lord is calling us to gets robbed by fear.
Many times fear comes in because we are afraid to give up control of something that ultimately is Jesus’ to begin with. But looking fear straight in the face and saying “Jesus is worth it, fear you have nothing on me”- will cut fear off at the legs. Many times the enjoyment of what the Lord is calling us to gets robbed by fear. The Lord’s plan for us is for our “well-being” and “hope”, not for destruction and shame. Never, never, never. But sometimes he does ask us to lay down things-maybe even walk the heights of discomfort, or walk a seemly scary terrain. But it’s a call to deeper love.
The tight grip we have on things is just a reflection of how much we really believe Jesus is worth it. That’s why I believe the call into deep waters of faith, the uncomfortable places, is a call of love. It’s a wooing from Jesus into greater trust of who He is. Because at the end of the day, when we stand before Him in eternity we will truly see that yes, He was worth it all. Saying yes to walk upon the heights of greater faith and love was worth it. What we held onto so tightly really in comparison could never measure up to the thrill and joy of knowing Jesus in the midst of it all.
Will you answer His call of love?