Rise Up, My Love (154): Is it Enough?

god-fresco-handsJust realized I accidentally skipped over this mediation
and should have published it last week! Sorry about that… 😦

Song of Solomon 5:4 “My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.” So, first the bridegroom appealed to her on the basis of their relationships, but when she did not respond, he did not criticize! Instead, he reached out to her. He did everything within his power to reach her…but he could not. Interestingly, it was not his power and success that moved her; it was his failure.

Have you ever heard this song?

“He could have called ten thousand angels
To destroy the world and set him free.
He could have called ten thousand angels,
But he died alone, for you and me.” (—Ray Overholt)

The bridegroom was none other than King Solomon. He could have broken down her door and gained entrance! He could have demanded her to get up and open the door. He could have done whatever he chose to do, but he chose to love her, to give her freedom, and to suffer the effects of unrequited love. He “chose” to “fail” in a sense, because he loved her and allowed her to be free, with no constraint but that of love. It was not truly his failure; it was her test. He approached her with love; she answered with silence. He demonstrated meekness; she responded with indolence. He reached out with his hand—but was it enough?

The hand of Jesus reaches out to each of us. Is it enough? The mighty hand of God that hung the stars in space and dredged up enough earth out of the sea to form the dry land. The right hand of El Shaddai that holds us and leads us. The outstretched hands of Christ, nailed to the cross for us, crushed and bleeding. Is it enough? Look at his hands, his beautiful, nail-scarred hands. Is it enough?

He reached in his hand and tried to open the door, but it was barred in such a way that he could not unlock it. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).

Like Christ, the husband reached in his hand, but he would not force the door that separated them. He reached out…but could not reach her. She had to reach out to him.

Is it enough? Dear husband, are you reaching out in tangible ways to your wife? Do you feel barred from the inner sanctum of your wife’s heart? If so, then are you literally, physically trying to meet your wife’s needs so that she will respond by opening the emotional door that is keeping you outside? Look at the patience and example of Christ. He appeals to us in terms of deepest relationship and highest praise; He patiently refrains from criticism or rebuke, demands or force; He reaches out to us in tangible, physical ways. Christ died for us, and it is his nail-scarred hands that he extends. Do your hands bear the marks of your suffering to provide for your wife?

I remember when my husband and I were first married. He was working at his father’s garage and fuel oil business, and every night he would come home with such grimy hands and black nails that even a thorough scrubbing would leave them tinged with brown. But, I loved to look at those hands! They were strong and manly…and I knew they were stained to provide a living for the new “us.” My husband was giving his life…hour by hour…to provide for my needs as well as his. That is the Biblical pattern, and although all too few families have such a blessed arrangement, in families where the husband works outside the home to insure a safe “nest” for his wife and children, there is a deep sense of gratefulness and security that wells up within the heart of the wife, because she senses every day that her husband is loving and caring for her.

He reached out to her with his hand, but could not reach her…and at last her heart was moved!