Wednesday, May 8, 2013

This Oozing Ache

Several months ago, I counseled a young woman via email about the "oozing ache" of lovesickness. The email that I wrote ended up doing wonders for myself as well as this other woman, and many of the points mentioned, I think, should serve as help to others in the same or a similar situation. Most of the quotes are from either Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot, or Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman. Both books have been a constant companion to me, and I would highly recommend both of them, but that's a post for another day when I'm not preparing for finals. I've edited it slightly for anonymity, but otherwise it is still in the complete, original form. May this comfort you as well as it has comforted me.


“Lovesickness may seem a trifle compared with other maladies, but the one who is sick with love is sick indeed, and the Heavenly Father understands that.”
-page 72 of Passion and Purity

Thank the Lord that He understands this pain, for “waiting silently is the hardest thing of all” (62). We are in a position where we see that our hearts are changing, angling themselves towards this greater love for which we have been created, but we cannot speak. It is not time. It is not our job. So we sit patiently, waiting. What else can we do? We should not wake up Love before its time (Song of Songs). Patience is a forever fruit. And the fruit will bear if the season is right.

“Steadfastness, that is holding on;
Patience, that is holding back;
Expectancy, that is holding the face up…”
-S.D. Gordon

“Hold on, my heart, in your believing--
Only the steadfast wins the crown;
He who, when stormy winds are heaving,
Parts with its anchor, shall go down;

But he who Jesus holds through all,
Shall stand, though Heaven and earth should fall.

"Hold out! There comes an end to sorrow;
Hope from the dust shall conquering rise;
The storm foretells a summer's morrow;
The Cross points on to Paradise;

The Father reigns! So cease all doubt;
Hold on, my heart, hold on, hold out."

I found the poem above in Streams in the Desert by C.B. Cowman one morning early in the school year when doing my devotional. The poem struck me so much that I wrote it in my notebook, wrote it on a dry-erase board, so that I would see it and memorize it. I memorized parts of it, but those parts stick with me “only the steadfast wins the crown” and “hold on, my heart; hold on, hold out.”

Hold on dear friend. These trials do not last forever. It will be difficult. Not because of the separation. Perhaps for reasons entirely different. At college, surrounded by some of my friends already in dating relationships, I found it hard to be single at times. Overall, I was content, but there were moments that would hurt. Hold on, dear heart. Hold on. Paradoxes occur. Once I found myself “both wishing for an earthly dance partner and yet [was] glad that the Lord was the only one.” Your heart goes in two different directions. But one direction, the direction of peace in God, pulls stronger, and that’s where you can finally rest, content.

2 Cor 4:17-18 “For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.”

I think this verse can apply both to the weight of glory in being with Yeshua finally, and also to this prayer and hope for love. This pain that we feel now is momentary – will last only a moment in comparison with the rest of the journey, let alone the rest of time! (I say this to encourage both you and me!) And yet, we must be careful, because, “by reliving the past and anticipating the joy of the future, it is quite possible to waste away the present entirely. As Jim said, “Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living”” (p. 78, p. 80, Passion and Purity).

We shall continue living then, “casting our cares upon Yeshua, for He will never let the righteous fall.” I wrote while at school, “Oh, will this period of waiting never cease? Not now, not for a long time. The trials have not yet come. They have seemed like trials, but they are not. Oh, they are far from the trials that will come. It will be hard. It will be difficult. It will be painful. … My spirit groans in agony – when will this end? O beloved Lord and Savior, give me the strength to hold on and fight while I am able. O help me press forward!”

Yes. We must stand firm and steadfast. Lord Jesus, take us by the hand and help us stand firm and courageous, even in the pain of silence.

Song of Songs 8:7 “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the rivers overwhelm it” and Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I am there. You are mine.”

I hope some part of this brings you comfort. May the Lord see us on the other side of these fires, cleansed of the dross so that our joy can be made complete.

To finally end this, another quote from Passion and Purity (I think Elisabeth quoted from someone else, but I can’t remember) that kinda summarizes how it feels with love…

“I cannot love you if I love not Him
I cannot love Him, if I love not you.”