This week’s reading finds Much-Afriad waking up to find herself ridden with pain, such as she had never known before. The Shepherd had come for her in the previous chapter, to lead her to the High Places, but fear had held her back. Now she feels the pain of the thorn of love upon her heart, of which the Shepherd spoke about in Chapter 1.
She is overcome with sadness at the thought that the Shepherd has left her behind, yet she is filled with longing and decides to go in search of the Shepherd, that perhaps she will find Him and that it’s not too late to go with Him.
During my reading of this entire Chapter, I had Song of Solomon 3, vs. 1-3 going through my mind,
“All night long on my bed
I looked for the one my heart loves;
I looked for him but did not find him.
2I will get up now and go about the city,
through its streets and squares;
I will search for the one my heart loves.
So I looked for him but did not find him.
3The watchmen found me
as they made their rounds in the city.
“Have you seen the one my heart loves?”
Have you seen the one my heart loves?
What struck me most in this chapter was the thorn of pain she felt in her heart when she thought the Shepherd had left her. There have been times in my own life where God has withdrawn His presence from me, for a season. But it was in those times that I sought Him even more. I cannot live without His presence. I must have Him, consuming me, every day of my life.
The Shepherd waited for her, because He knew she would come. Isn’t that so true? God waits for us to come to Him. He may lift His presence from us from time to time, but for the sole purpose that we might seek Him while He may be found.