Apples of Gold

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Behold thou art fair

'Behold thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes. Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea pleasant: also our bed is green.'

Song of Solomon 1:15-16

It is dull, overcast and poring with rain here today. A typical summers day in Stornoway! In many ways the weather is reflecting the state of my soul. I feel heavy and not a little despondent this morning. The stress and strains of the last few months seem to be catching up on me and I feel worn out.

I read much yesterday without being aware of any real benefit. My study this morning was no different. My heart felt heavy and I was reminded of what someone told me years ago. The dove seeks her refuge in the clefts of the Rock, yet always seems to have a tear in her eye!

The same could be said for the child of God. It is little wonder if we have a tear in our eye when we are daily surrounded by corruption and sin. We may have a tear in our eye as we carry forward the memories of those who once trod the same pathway with us. They have been called Home to their eternal rest and we are left behind.

We may have a tear in our eye as we remember better days in our churches where there was love and joy and unity. Where homes were open to all and a welcome was always certain. We may also carry a tear for the sin that grieves us daily, knowing that it is our Beloved that we are sinning against.

We may also carry a tear as we yearn for Home where God Himself awaits to wipe all out tears away.

I am reminded of the character of some of the finest Christians that I have met on this earth. The dove has a beauty and serenity that makes it different from other birds. The Christians I refer to have an inner strength that shines through, yet a gentle manner that I find difficult to describe. They truly reflect the image I have of my Beloved Saviour Redeemer.

The dove's home is in the clefts of the rock. A place of refuge with a narrow opening forbidding any unwanted entrance to her enemies. The dove has no defence of her own, she relies on the safety provided by the rock.

The Lord will also show us the we have no real strength and that we must always, and at all times rely on the Rock of ages to be our guide our guard and our shield. The stone cut without hands. The One called the Ancient of days.

Doves will not suffer anything unclean. At the flood there would have been many carcases floating about upon which the dove could have rested, however it would not pollute itself with that which was corrupt. We must also steer clear of corruption and that which is unclean.

Keep clear of anything which many cause offence. Part of Jabezís prayer was that he would be kept from evil. It is so easy for us to be enticed by the depravity that invades our daily lives but let us dare to be different. Let us ask God to censor every thought prior to it becoming an action.

Many a heartache will be prevented if we had the courage to pray like this.

'Our bed is green!' Well if ever a few words got me thinking then these words did. Please remember that what I write in these posts are my own private, simple  thoughts. I am no scholar and no Theologian. I just thought you might like to know what went through my mind as I thought on these words.

My immediate thought took me to green pastures where the sheep have been led and where the Good Shepherd watches over them throughout the night. He slumbers not nor sleeps. No matter the time of day or night we can call upon the Good Shepherd for help. Many are the wiles of the evil one.

How often have you and I laid own heads on our pillows with heavenly thoughts on our minds. Aware of the Good Shepherd's presence with us, not wanting to go to sleep in case our wonderful 'feelings' have all but disappeared in the morning!

We also lie down in green pastures because we are refreshed through our sleep. Our bodies need rest and the Good Shepherd leads us to a comfortable place where He Himself provides the safety and He also provides our sustenance for our needy souls.

One of the best nights sleep I have ever had was in Romania. We were asked if we fancied sleeping on fresh cut grass in the hay loft, outside in the barn. There are some nights that are oppressively hot and sticky and we were thankful and not a little excited at the thought of sleeping on a bed of green. The grass mattress was both soft and firm and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. No doubt that I snored for Scotland that night!

I may be completely wrong in my thinking on these words but nonetheless I draw comfort from the fact that if I have been led to make my bed on green pastures I can rest assured that my Good Shepherd is close by.

Let us follow our Good Shepherd today with renewed hope and renewed strength, leaving our destination and next green bed of rest to Him alone. He knoweth the way that I take.

His sheep hear His voice and they follow Him. It is a spiritual adventure with Christ leading the way, so just for today let us wipe the tear from our eye and hope. This may be the very day when our weeping is turned into laughter.