“I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys” – Song of Songs 2:1
A lily in the valley
This is your true identity. According to Watchman Nee in his book, “Song of Songs — The Divine Romance between God and Man”, a lily of the valleys is a “despicable plant in the land of Judea (24).”
A lily of the valley is a rather plain and unassuming plant. It’s a highly poisonous plant that can cause quite a lot of suffering if ingested.
Watchman Nee goes on to explain that the Shulamite, in Song of Songs 2, calls herself a lily of the valleys and not a lily of the pot because she is cared for by God alone, rather than by man.
It is important to point out, though, that the scripture in Song of Songs 2:1 is not necessarily talking about the humble, yet beautiful, plant. It seems to me to be talking about a lily of the valleys…or a beauty in the midst of ugly conditions.
Even in verse 2 the King says, “As a lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.” Daughters here is often translated maidens. It’s plural, and it’s signifying sin. When God talks about those who love him, he calls us lilies (Nee 25). We are quite literally living among thorns, but God can pinpoint us quickly because he’s enamored by our beauty and attracted to our fragrance (Song of Songs 1:12).
We are cared for by God
This is not to suggest that we don’t rely on one another or let our spouses care for us and provide for us. This is simply saying that it is in God where we find our complete satisfaction. Nee writes, “[S]he is not worth anything in herself and…she is but an ordinary person cared for by God (24).”
This is exactly who we are! We are ordinary people. There’s nothing special about any one of us. Even the most famous among us are still ordinary human beings. I’m reminded of the old saying, “We all put our pants on one leg at a time” here. Some of us may do special activities for work or do special work that benefits ourselves and others, but in the end we are all rather ordinary.
I’m not trying to make you feel depressed here. There is nothing wrong with being ordinary. In fact, it’s exciting when we realize that we are not as in the spotlight as we thought we were. We are plain-jane people who are uniquely loved and adored by God!
That’s the unique part about all of us! We are extravagantly loved by God. We can’t point to one single part of us and boast in our own goodness. We can only boast in Jesus.
God pinpoints in us all the good parts and pulls out of us all the bad. He is constantly pulling out bad and pouring in good. Why does he do this? Because he’s good! He’s more than good! He’s holy.
This depends on no amount of work on our behalf. We don’t remove our bad from ourselves. We aren’t going around purging ourselves of sin and worthless worldly junk. We rest in the fact that God is good and he’s inside us celebrating his love with us! He did the purging for us on the cross.
Years ago I can remember it was popular to spiritually cleanse your house. People in the church would talk to me about going through their homes and getting rid of everything they thought God was highlighting to to them that was a barrier between them and Him. One lady told me that she’d removed several trash bags full of movies, ornaments, and books that were drawing her away from God.
Although it is probably advantageous not to watch certain movies or read a certain book if you’re a Christian, I’m as uncomfortable now as I was then about this kid of ritual. Although I didn’t have the proper vocabulary back then as I do now about such egregious religious measures used to clean yourself up, I am positive that nothing in all creation can keep us from the love of God (Romans 8:31-39).
You are a lily of the valleys. Not a poisonous plant that causes destruction, but you are a rose among thorns. God can pinpoint you out of the crowd in one second flat! You are so important to him and so loved by him! Nothing can hold you back from his love and devotion.
Have a great week!
If you didn’t catch my weekly video from last week, check it out here!