(2) "I will rise now," I said, "and go about the city; in the streets and in the squares I will seek the one I love." I sought Him, but I did not find Him. (3) The watchmen who go about the city found me; I said, "Have you seen the one I love?"
Last week the bride was at a crossroad. She had a choice to make. Would she stay in her comfortable place, or step outside the place of resting, and go further in her relationship with Him? It's a choice we all make, numerous times in our journey with Him.
Sometimes it seems the cost of obedience is high...maybe too high for us. We are not willing to take the next step that we know He is asking of us. But even though the cost of obedience is high, the cost of disobedience is even greater. God, because of His great love for us, will continually draw us higher and deeper into Himself. It is a progressive journey, and one that God has tailor made for each one of us.
So the bride makes a choice to add the obedience of rising up to her spiritual disciplines. Even though she loves the place of rest, the secret place; reading, studying, & praying; she is not experiencing the Lord's presence as in the past. Again, it is a test. He has hidden Himself from her to draw her out of herself. He will do the same with us.
As the bride gets out of her comfort place to seek Him among the people, in the marketplace and in 'body life' she still does not find Him immediately. What she does find is a new sense of vulnerability and fear. She encounters many things that result in apprehension, anxiety, doubt, conflict, turmoil, and danger. This is so different from being in the safe, secret place with Him. But her mandate is to find the one she loves. So she continues to seek Him.
Can you relate? Sometimes 'body life' can be hard! But many times it is in those difficult places, in dealing with difficult people, and even in dealing with our own insecurities, God in His grace will give us exactly what we need to mature. Even though the bride finds it hard in this new place, her motivation is her love for Him ('I will seek the one I love'). When a person is motivated by love, there is a spiritual force working that can overcome many obstacles. Love will cause you to keep going, even when everything else within you is shouting to quit, to give up, to throw in the towel, to just bail out and back down. But love! Love is a powerful force. Love never fails! (I Cor 13:8)
The bride's love is so strong that she continues to seek Him. By now she is getting a little weary, a little desperate. Where is He? Where has He gone? Where is He when I need Him? Why hasn't He come? Have you ever felt that way? She asks the watchmen if they have seen Him who she loves. But they haven't. They are focused on their assignment. They are too busy to search with her. But still, she is focused on Him who she loves, and so she continues to search....