[So I can’t seem to get off of these verses. The message they carry is so powerful – so amazing –so unfathomable…. I was going through them again this morning and God definitely talked to my heart, so the following post is basically from my devotion.]
Set me as a seal upon your heart,
As a seal upon your arm;
For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy as cruel as the grave;
Its flames are flames of fire,
A most vehement flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor can the floods drown it.
If a man would give for love
All the wealth of his house,
It would be utterly despised.
Song of Solomon 8:6-7
Not a candle flame. Not a fireplace. Not a campfire. Not a flare of a match.
Love is a wildfire.
A wildfire brings destruction, pain, and terror to everything in its path. Trees. People. Animals. Sometimes horrific, maiming pain, like the burned horses we treated at the vet clinic. But sometimes killing pain – it comes so fast, swift, sudden – bringing death. Our neighbor’s sheep. The fawn skeletons another neighbor found on her property. All of our trees.
But it kills something else, too – the places that we knew before the fire. I remember going back to our old home for the first time after the Dahl Fire. I have never heard such silence – like that instant after you are absolutely terrified by something and it seems as if you can’t hear a thing. And black – it was all crumbling black or gray, some yucca roots still smoldering, giving off white-gray wisps. It was as if the world I remembered – the world I had loved, the world of our “Twenty-Acre Woods” – was a dead friend.
Today, nothing can bring it back. When I go up there now, with the charred remains of the buildings all buried and the burnt trees hewn down and hauled away by loggers, I see a changed world – a different world. A world that is dead in some ways, and yet alive in others. Dead in all the ways that I knew it. Alive in the new grass, the new flowers, the new birds, the new plans God has for it.
Death brings rebirth.
“For love is as strong as death.”
(Oh my gosh, God, I get it. I get it!)
Many times, death is not the end; it’s only the beginning.
Love as strong as death. As strong as Your death that gave me salvation. As strong as the death of the hen who burned in a fire, sacrificing herself so that the little chicks hidden under her wings might live. As strong as the death of the trees in Yellowstone whose pinecones seeded more trees than there had been before. As strong as the death of the ram that took Isaac’s place as the sacrifice on the altar. As strong as the death of our twenty acres – our home, our trees, our hide-and-seek crevices, our riding trails, our favorite haunts, our thought-to-be-forever home – that brought us new life – Spanky, Jubilee, April, restoration of family relationships, resolution of personal issues, deepening of friendships, a new home.
Death changes things. Death can completely turn lives around. Apparently so can love. Because, when I think about it, God’s love for His people is honestly what brought about a lot of those deaths I mentioned in the previous paragraph.
Love can change everything. For the best.
But it has to be love that burns like a wildfire, not one that flickers like a candle. It has to be passionate. Passion: “strong and barely controllable emotion.” Maybe it’s even stronger than that, because a wildfire isn’t controllable. It can’t be held back. It is unstoppable until God wills that it be stopped.
(I get it, God. I’ve been holding back; so often I’m afraid to love. Dear Lord, please help me to have love like a wildfire…as terrifying an idea as that is.)
And You…You love me with this wildfire love. Oh God, thank You. Thank You. Thank You.
But God, what do You want me to do with this love?