“The voice of my beloved!
Behold, he comes
Leaping upon the mountains,
Skipping upon the hills.
My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.
Behold, he stands behind our wall;
He is looking through the windows,
Gazing through the lattice.
My beloved spoke, and said to me:
“Rise up, my love, my fair one,
And come away.
For lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of singing has come,
And the voice of the turtledove
Is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth her green figs,
And the vines with the tender grapes
Give a good smell.
Rise up, my love, my fair one,
And come away!” Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Can I be honest with you? I am a half-century old now, and I can’t recall any period of my life that was relatively easy and carefree. I have had daily struggles for as long as I can remember. Even in the best of times, I had my challenges. I have never like so many people simply been able to enjoy long stretches of time and to be relaxed and simply enjoy God’s blessings in life. Even as a totally devoted follower of Christ, my life has been far from carefree.
But the Lord is so gracious, so wonderful, so beautiful, so lovely, so tender, so kind, so patient, so grace-giving, so merciful, so blessed, so fatherly, such a perfect Father, so godly, such the perfect God, that in the best and worst of times, whether I was conscious of it or not, He has always been there, always providing for me, always leading me, always available to me so long as I have believed in Him.
One day, in a more trying time than usual, I was walking along one day when I had such a strong, strong sense of something. Jesus was calling me. Beckoning me to Himself. Calling me to Him. Inviting me to come away from the trials of life and to come spend time with Him. To sit at His feet. To commune with Him. To rest in Him. To hear from Him. To delve into His Word. To bathe in the love of His Spirit. To be comforted by Him. To be reinvigorated by Him. To receive His compassion and know His care. To hear Him speak personally to me.
I knew what I needed to do. I needed to answer His call. Yes, Jesus. I needed to draw away from the cares of this life and draw near to my Lord. And so I would. And so I shall. And so I will continue to. When Jesus calls, I will answer. Yes, my God! Yes, my Father! Yes, my Lord! Yes, my heavenly husband. Yes, my love! Yes, my beloved! Yes, my master! Yes, my Savior! Yes, my redeemer! Yes, my healer! Yes, my advocate! Yes, my counselor! Yes, my comforter! Yes, my redeemer! Yes, my peace! Yes, my prince! Yes, my hope! Yes, my rest! Yes, my joy! Yes, my deliverer!
Friend, this is a reminder for each and every one of us. Christ’s followers are not to be robots living our lives according to religious traditions, running back and forth to church, opening and closing the Bible, memorizing scriptures, praying at certain times, taking communion when the pastor says we should, sit, stand, sit, stand, do this, do that, sing, stop, sit, pray, give money, serving God, serving God, serving God, etc.
We are God’s children in need more than anything else of spending time in His presence, of knowing His love intimately, of being filled and re-filled with His Spirit, of enjoying His company, of pouring out our hearts to Him even when our hearts are heavy, and in praise and adoration, listening for His marvelous voice, even when His voice brings conviction, being changed by Him, sitting at His beloved feet, resting in His amazing nearness, drawing ever closer to Him, and Him to us, whether in good times, whether in hard times, no matter the times, always remembering, day by day, to come away with the Lord, to be with Him, to answer His call, to hear Him calling, even now, to come away with Him, to come away with the Lord. To be refreshed, revived, renewed in Him.
When was the last time you drew away from the cares of this life and simply spent time in the sweet presence of almighty God?