“I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.” (Song of Solomon 2:1 NIV)
I had to do a double take when I read this the other day. I mean, we are told to be humble, right? To not flaunt ourselves? But this woman, whoever it is that Solomon is writing about in the Song of Solomon, is obviously a bit too full of herself!
I read on, fully expecting a rebuke from the king. Instead, His response reads: “Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the young women.” (Song of Solomon 2:2 NIV).
Wait. Where is the admonition to repent of prideful thinking? Where is the reprimand for a very arrogant statement? Where is the shock? The recoil? The shaming lecture?
It simply isn’t there. Instead, we find the king not only agreeing with her, but expanding upon her words, telling her that not only is she like a beautiful flower, but compared to her, all others are but thorns!
Wait! He’s encouraging her arrogance!
There are many opinions as to why this particular book is written. Some say it is how husbands and wives should see each other, and I couldn’t agree more. Others say this is how Jesus sees the church. Again, I couldn’t agree more; but I also find in the Song of Solomon a beautiful portray of how God sees each of us, and how we should respond to Him! So when we see the young woman saying she is like the Rose of Sharon, and we see the young man agreeing with her, we actually see a glimpse of how we appear in the eyes of our God! When we’ve accepted Jesus as our Saviour, when we’ve exchanged our badness for His perfect righteousness, God sees us as beautiful. In fact He sees us as being so beautiful that all others in comparison are but thorns!
I’m still having a problem with the woman’s statement, however. I can accept that this is how God sees me, but shouldn’t I be a bit more humble in my assessment of myself? After all, I don’t feel like a Rose of Sharon. Rather, I feel like I’m the spines of thorns, the ones that tore into Jesus’ precious brow. It’s one thing for God to see me as different, but I don’t see myself as being so special, and I shouldn’t feel that way either! Otherwise I’d be “flaunting” myself….
This is certainly the trap I’ve been caught up in for so many years. It’s one thing to know that God loves me; but I certainly don’t see myself as deserving of that love…. Quite the opposite, in fact!
But wait a minute. If God says that compared to me all the others are a field of thorns in His eyes, shouldn’t I agree with Him? I mean, if I don’t, then I’m kind of calling Him a liar, aren’t I? And if I can’t put my faith in what He says about me, then how can I put my faith in what He says about Himself?
Could it be that this is one of the reasons I struggle so much with my faith? When I don’t have faith in the fact that God sees me as more beautiful and precious than anything else, how can I have faith that He will take care of my worries? How can I have faith that He heals? That He blesses? That He — Saves?
For the first time in my life, I saw faith as black and white. It’s not a “pick what part of faith makes sense to you” kind of deal. It’s all or none! Either I trust God for everything — including how He sees me — or I don’t trust Him for anything!
I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to see how my “humility” in not seeing myself as having any worth actually stems from lack of faith in God!
If this resonates with any of you, if you tend towards low self-worth or have trouble understanding how God can love you, then remember: Your lack of faith in His love for you, in how He sees you, is undermining your faith in Him for everything else!
I don’t know about you, but I want to renounce my sense of poor self-worth! I choose instead to put my faith in the One who sees me as perfect and precious and beautiful — as a Rose of Sharon, a Lily among thorns. I choose to believe that I am perfect, precious and beautiful in Him! And I choose to believe that everything else He says is true, too!
Thank you Jesus!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, andScriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, withAnswers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.