A Prickly Pear

Song of Songs 2:2, "As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters."

What a beautiful description of the bride of Christ. In the previous verse Christ is described as the Lily of the Valleys and now she is described as the lily. What Christ is, we are to be in this world as the Scripture tells us in 1 John 4:17.

What do you think of when you think of a lily? I think of...

1. PURE AND SPOTLESS. I am sure your mind immediately thinks of the white Madonna lily with which we are so familiar and yet which also grew in Israel. This beautiful flower has been an emblem of purity for thousands of years. This is the picture of the bride of Christ in this sinful world.

2. HUMBLE. Our Bridegroom is called the Lily of the valleys. Where He is we will be too. The lily does not grow on the heights but in the fertile valleys. The true believer is not high-minded and proud, but has a humble spirit.

3. BEAUTILFUL. Jesus said that even King Solomon, the richest king in all his glory, could not compete with the beautiful lily.

4. TRUSTING GOD. Jesus exhorted us not to worry about what we will eat or wear and used the illustration of the lilies that do not toil or worry and yet God watches over them to protect and provide for them. (Matthew 5: 28-33)

5. NOT PRICKLY. This is the rub. All around us there are thorny people - those who pierce us with their sharp and nasty words and who prick us with their actions. Maybe there are thorny people in your own home or family relationships. Their pricks can really hurt! How do you react? Can you continue to be a lily in these circumstances?

It is easy to be a lily among other lilies. The real test is to be a lily among the thorns!

How can you do this? Only by the power of the living Christ within you. It is the grace of God. It is His life in you. Jesus died and shed His blood to enable you to live as a lily among the thorns. When Jesus was pricked, He did not retaliate. When he was blasphemed and ridiculed he did not answer a word. Jesus who lives within you does not get prickly and upset. He does not get mad and shoot out thorns. Stress and the pressures of life can also make you feel irritable and prickly. But Christ within you does not get stressed out, no matter how huge the problem. Trust Him.

Song of Songs 5:13 describes Christ, "His lips like lilies, dropping sweet swelling myrrh." Prickly words don't fall from his lips. His lips drop sweetness. What drops from your lips? Unkind words or sweet? How do you react to the pressures or hurtful words in your home? Does everyone feel your prickles? It's not very nice being close to a prickly person, is it?

Can you allow the sweetness and purity of Christ to shine forth even when you are being pricked? Even if your husband is thorny?

Love from NANCY CAMPBELL

Prayer:

"Oh Father, please take away the prickliness in my life. I often feel hurt and wounded, but please help me to react like the lily, to trust you instead of retaliating with sharp and unkind words. Amen."

Affirmation:

As He is, so am I in this world.

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