Listen, be still! Can you hear it? A song carried by the Wind. Such a yearning, longing, indescribable sound. Rising Heavenward. Now soft and barely discernible, now louder, clearer, lifting and falling like waves on the sea. There never was such a sound heard through all the ages this earth has known. You won’t hear it in the clammer of a big city, but it is there. You won’t hear it in the silence of the desert or the roar of the ocean, but it is there just the same. You won’t hear it in the frenzied cheers of the sports stadium or the raised voices of houses of government, and you will seldom hear it in the well ordered hymns or hallelujahs of the Sunday service. But it is stronger and more compelling than any of them. It is the Song of the Bride.
“Make haste my Beloved”.
It is a song impossible to bear but impossible to ignore. If you are a singer of it you will know how it tears you, wounds you and discomforts you. Yet you cannot do other than sing it. You chose this Song above all others. You chose it in the darkest hours when your faith was tested almost beyond what you could bear. You chose it in the loneliness when your enemy’s voice taunted and mocked you for continuing to believe when all hope was seemingly lost. You chose it when heartbreak and despair were your constant companions but you refused to partake of the world’s offering of wine mixed with myrrh. You chose it every time you bowed your head and silently whispered “Yes Lord, Your will, not mine” though tears stained your face and pain stabbed your heart. You chose this Song because somewhere in the midst of confusion, sorrow, and doubt you caught a glimpse of something greater than your pain, something beyond beauty, beyond wonder, beyond anything you had yet seen. And through gritted teeth a cry rose from a place within you that you didn’t know existed: “Yes, Lord, I want You more than life itself and by God’s grace I will pursue You!”
And so the Song was both conceived and born in you. The Spirit breathed, the seed was planted and the journey was begun. Many who started out with you have fallen by the wayside. Many stopped singing the Song when other more seductive songs beckoned. You too were tempted, but when all was said and done the other songs with all their promises never could satisfy you like the one that called you onward. Soon the songs that had seduced your companions faded and merged into one monotonous discord , a sound you could hear in the distance but could not sing.
And still the Song grew until you ceased knowing whether you sang the Song, or the Song sang you. The Song and you became part of each other and you no longer knew how to be anything other than a singer of the Song. Those who once had been your companions in the Song but had stopped singing now stand apart from you like familiar strangers. Though they may smile and greet you, they quickly move away for they must sing their song, and you must sing yours, and the two can no longer meet. You chose the Song. Or did the Song choose you?
“Make haste my Beloved.”
The Song cannot be heard by those who do not sing it but if ever they should briefly catch its echo, it is not beautiful to their ears and they soon turn away. The Song is not always melodic. Often, increasingly often, the Song consists of unutterable groans and sighs. And even though you are a singer of the Song, you do not always understand it. Sometimes the Song flows freely, even erupts, from the deepest places of your being. At other times it is drawn from you through tearful anguish. Yet the Song cannot be stopped. You cannot explain to others why the Song compels you on or how deeply embedded it has become in you, so you have stopped trying to explain or justify the Song. You just keep singing it through joy and sorrow, victory and defeat, life and death.
There are others who sing the Song and if you should happen to cross their paths you recognise a fellow singer because you recognise the Song. More than that, you recognise the Source of the Song. And though such encounters may be few, they have become one of your greatest joys. When those who sing the Song come together Heaven stops to listen. For the Song was born in Heaven and returns to Heaven and is loudest and most glorious when sung in unison by the singers of the Song.
“Make haste my Beloved.”
If you still yourself long enough you will hear the Song. You will hear it within yourself and you will hear it rising from the four corners of the earth to the highest Heaven. And though you sing the Song, you will wonder at the Song and you will wonder how you became a part of it, and you will know that though you chose the Song, yet you were also chosen to sing it. Not because your voice was beautiful or strong, but because the Song is costly and yet you said ‘yes’. You have paid the price for the Song and you will continue to pay it. And yet, the Song to you and to all who sing it, is priceless.
A sinner woman sang the Song and the Song was louder than her sins. “And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil…… Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”*
Peter sang the Song and learned that love is costly. “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” It was not enough for Peter to simply love the Bridegroom. The Bridegroom is to be loved more.**
Stephen sang the Song and forfeited his life. “But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”….. and they cast him out of the city and stoned him…… ***
Paul sang the Song and lost his history, his reputation, his nation and ultimately his life. “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ…”****
The Song has been sung by a countless army of men, women and children throughout the centuries, whose names and faces are mostly forgotten on this earth but celebrated in Heaven. Many are they who have tried to kill the Song but the Song only becomes sweeter. Many are they who try to imitate the Song, but the Song only shines brighter. There is but one Song and those who sing it are becoming one, for the Song draws them and binds them with unbreakable ties.
The Song is part of the greatest mystery ever known. It is sung on mountaintops and in prison dungeons. It is sung from rice paddies to executive suites. It is sung in the night and each hour of the day. It is sung in the least expected places by the least expected voices.
And so the Song grows: louder, richer, higher. Above all else that happens on this earth, the Song has Heaven’s attention. The Song is, in fact, Heaven’s priority. The Song has always been, but has always waited to be sung as it is now being sung. And as this irresistible Song continues to grow in power and beauty, it wafts Heavenward. Creation groans, the hosts of Heaven stand ready, and the Bridegroom sets His Face. At a moment already written in eternity, Heaven will no longer hold back the Bridegroom from His Bride. He will arouse Himself to make haste to His Beloved, as He promised He would do.
Bride of Christ, hear what the Spirit says:
Keep singing the Song and never cease! Through hardship and toil, through pain, imprisonment, abandonment, betrayal, loss and grief, joy and sorrow, through persecution and tribulation, through the mountains and through the valleys. Keep singing the Song and do not cease until the Beloved makes haste and becomes like a gazelle on the mountains of spices. The Song is rising and the Song is unstoppable. The Song is greater than the darkness and ultimately will overcome it. May you be given ears to hear! May you be given grace to sing until the Beloved wipes all tears from your eyes! And so may you sing for evermore of the One who first sang His own Song over you!
The time of singing has come….. (Song of Solomon 2:12).
Make haste, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices (Song of Solomon 8:14).
And the Spirit and the Bride say come! (Rev. 22:17)
*Luke 7:37-48 ; **John 21:15-19 ; ***Acts 7:55-60; **** Philippians 3:5-11
© Copyright Cheryl McGrath, Great South Land Ministries, www.greatsouthland.org
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