When we had little Robby living with us (See Sept. 2007 post), sometimes when he crawled up in our lap his little hand would fan in front of his nose and he would say, "Your bref stinks!" Not one family member escaped the honesty of that little guy. He's been on my mind lately and, when I remembered that, I smiled, but my mind went to one of my favorite scriptures in Song of Solomon.
In chapter 2 this young soon-to-be bride is speaking of her future groom and describes him as an apple tree among the trees of the forest. My favorite part is where she says, "I sit under his shadow with great delight and his fruit is sweet to my taste." For those of us who are married, we are to sit under the protection, provision, and sweetness of our husband with GREAT DELIGHT. Most of us don't do that. I can also hear some of you now telling me there is nothing sweet about sitting under his shadow. Our Father set it up where we would be taken care of if we stay put. Taken care of by Him. So many times we see things this world has to offer that are right past the Shadow of that protection. We think we will be better off if we take the reins in the marriage because "he isn't doing it right", or "he doesn't understand me". Or we leave because "we deserve to be treated better". So we step out of that protection with a bullseye on our back and satan comes in for the kill. I do, however, know some women who left a marriage without ever stepping out from under the Shadow. They hung in there until there was a peace to let it end. You may not understand that, but in walking along with them, I felt that same peace. Then again, I know a LOT of women who stay in a marriage, never sitting under the Shadow. Their whole marriage is doing their own thing, making their own rules. If we all understood that it is the Lord Who is our protection, provision, and sweetness, sitting under that tree would be delightful.
See, in reality, it is ONLY the Lord Who is our apple tree. If we sit under Him with great delight, every other aspect of our lives will fall into His will. He protects us, provides for us, gives us shelter from the enemy and sweet things to eat. Maybe we all get to pick what kind of apple tree . . . Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Macintosh, Caramel. Hehe! Actually that leads to another favorite verse that goes right along with the apple tree thing. In chapter 7 the Groom is telling his bride how beautiful she is. In verse 8, He says in the King James that "your nose smells like apples". That is why I thought it might be a Caramel Apple tree because I always have to eat caramel apples with a wet rag because the end of my nose gets sticky. In the English Standard it says "the scent of your breath like apples". I've read this so many times, but even in typing this out I'm overcome with emotion at the beauty of this. Do you hear what He is saying? I can hear Him say, "Come my precious one, and sit under My Shadow with great delight. You can trust Me to protect and provide for you. You can trust Me to love you when you may think no one could or ever will. I will fill you up with My sweetness so that when you are around your family, your friends, your co-workers you will breathe . . . ME."