***Read Song of Songs Chapter 1, Passion Translation before reading today’s blog.
I am a newly turned 23 year old woman and am content in my singleness. This is a pretty recent revelation that I am strengthening day by day. When told we would be studying the book of “Loooove” this february, I was excited and intimidated. Excited because in my new-found contentment I knew I would gain wisdom and insight from the words. Intimidated because romantic love has always been out of my reach.
In reading the first chapter of this passion translation, I realized that not only does this book depict romantic love between a man and woman, but most importantly it depicts the love of God.
“Your presence releases a fragrance so pleasing- over and over poured out. For your lovely name is “Flowing Oil.” No wonder the brides-to-be adore you. Draw me into your heart and lead me out. We will run away together into your cloud-filled chamber.”
Song of Songs 1:3-4
The underlined verses caught my attention. Have you ever smelled a fragrance that reminded you of someone you cared about? It brings their name to the forefront of your thoughts and you think of them. It’s almost as if they’re there with you, you could expect to see them turn the corner at any moment and greet you. Scent surely is a powerful thing for it evokes strong emotional responses. What caught my attention in verse 3 is the allusion to fragrance as being pleasing.
You see, there are certain fragrances that I connect to past heartbreaks. I have no choice but to think of the person connected to that scent. The familiar scent brings an unwanted intrusion of memories that I had partially suppressed. This is the line of thought I considered when I first read verse 3, but then I re-read it from the perspective of our God.
His presence will always release a fragrance that is pleasing to our hearts. His love for us releases a scent that brings warmth and hope into our minds. Over and over poured out, a never ending supply of satisfaction and healing. This is the fragrance of love, oh how sweet it smells! I became excited reading this because the fragrance of our Lord will overpower any hurtful memory. The strength of this God-scent will smother the smell of heartbreak and dispel the lingering fumes of disappointment. Our Lord is a sweet aroma of acceptance and welcoming embrace. Invisible yes, but thick and heavy in anointing.
Let us strive to live a life that leaves behind a beautiful fragrance and not a distracting stench.
Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing.
2 Corinthians 2:25 NLT
Lastly, I underlined the words, lead me out. Just as romantic love flourishes when leadership and trust are present, so is the same for spiritual love. Our role in this relationship with God is to follow after our leader, Him. God has directed our path and laid out His fragrance for us to seek and walk towards. Being led by the spirit of love is a journey I plan to embark upon until my days are done. And the best thing is, I trust God to put that sweet smelling romantic love in my path. As I continue to follow after HIS sweet fragrance, I’ll pass by all the rotten stalks disguised as roses and discover the true aroma of romantic love.
Photo by Allison Mims