I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
by the gazelles or the does of the field,
that you not stir up or awaken love
until it pleases.
~Song of Solomon 2:7
Have you ever felt that one of the hardest things about being a single young adult is waiting for love?
I have constantly. Sometimes I feel that all I've ever done is wait. When will the time be over?
Sometimes I ask God - "How can you do this? Do you have any idea how horrible this waiting is?"
And then I feel as insignificant as a speck of dust. Do I really think that the God who has loved a willful and wayward humanity for six millenia really knows nothing about waiting?
I call seven years a long time. Jacob probably did too. And he actually had a specific bride he was working for!
But six thousand years? I can't even grasp spending that long - all of human existence - waiting for my loved one to come to me.
Not just sitting patiently either. But watching that loved one go astray again and again, so that we are represented by a prostitute in the book of Hosea?
When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
The more they were called,
the more they went away;
they kept sacrificing to the Baals
and burning offerings to idols.
~ Hosea 11:1-2
How painful is that? To not only suffering in unrequited love for all of your loved one's existence, but also to watch them - again and again - fall in love with scoundrels, liars and your very worst enemies?
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk;
I took them up by their arms,
but they did not know that I healed them.
I led them with cords of kindness,
with the bands of love,
and I became to them as one
who eases the yoke on their jaws,
and I bent down to them and fed them.
~ Hosea 11:3-4
Remember the speck of dust? Let's reduce that. Let's say it's the smallest atom in the speck of dust that once belonged to the chicken poop pile.
Six thousand years in love with someone in whom you see so much potential, and yet they keep on having affairs with the worst of lovers. Why does God keep waiting?
Because God is Love. Love is God, and the sum of God is Love.
Love is patient and kind;
love does not envy or boast;
it is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on it's own way;
it is not irritable or resentful'
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.
Love never ends.
~ 1 Corinthians 14:4-8a
*sigh* So why am I complaining about the seven years again? Yes, waiting is hard. And yes, God actually knows what I'm feeling! But God's waited an awfully long time for me, so I think I can wait longer to learn his plan for my romantic life. And meanwhile I need to continue working in his service, learning more about him, and growing in my walk with him every day. That should be more than enough to occupy me for now.