"Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone. The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air. The fig trees are forming young fruit, and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming. Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one!" (Song of Songs 2:11-13, NLT) In the area where we live, the forest is our amphitheater to watch the springtime unfold. Before any signs of life in the trees, the floor of the forest begins to cover itself in little yellow daffodils. Hope is reborn in us that spring is coming, and the blanket of yellow is just the beginning. Soon it turns to white and then to purple, and all the while the music in the trees is building as the leaves begin to fill the branches and the birds build their nests.
Normally I wouldn’t describe myself as a naturalist, someone who connects with God in nature, but this spring when I heard the birds singing, I also heard God’s voice saying, "Come away with me, my fair one!" The longing to be with Him and just be was so strong, and yet, I still had the choice to respond. The longing itself isn’t what was life-giving, it was the "coming away."
In simple terms it’s a choice between being and doing. I can be walking through the forest or be working with the windows open and never really notice that the birds are singing all around me. I can block out that music much like I can block out God’s calling out to me. I can notice their song for a moment and then turn it off like I turn off the radio, not letting myself give into that distraction. This is the busy season. I can enjoy those things later.
My restful season doesn’t always line up with God’s calling of me to Himself. Or is it that His calling is louder when He knows I need that time and rest with Him? Do I trust that He knows what’s best for me? Can I trust Him to help me do what needs to get done even if I take time with Him? When I let myself stop and marvel at the singing of the birds, I begin to marvel as well that God is calling out to me. He is calling me "darling" and inviting me to come away. The question I wrestle with is this: "Will being with Him or working for Him win out?"
Warmly in Christ, Joy McAuley
"This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: 'Only in returning to Me and resting in Me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.'" (Isaiah 30:15, NLT)
In what ways has God been calling out to you lately? What has been your response?
How has God used quietness and rest to “save” you?
Where can you go today to just BE with God?