emilynisch

Dearness (not the thrifty kind)

In Uncategorized on April 9, 2009 at 12:11 am

I read this verse in Jeremiah the other day:

Does a maiden forget her jewelry,
a bride her wedding ornaments?
Yet my people have forgotten me,
days without number.

It struck me that a bride’s wedding ornaments are probably something really dear and special to her. I wasn’t sure exactly what the people of the time would have understood on hearing this, but I started thinking about my friends who’ve gotten married, and the special arranging of jewelry, etc that they go through in preparation for their wedding and on the wedding day itself. It’s a really special time of celebration for something that God treasures deeply – so much so that our life in eternity will begin with the church’s wedding to Jesus. Pretty amazing.

This passage really gave me pause and spoke to my heart about how God views the relationship that he wants his people to have with him. He refers to jewelry owned by a young girl (the maiden) and by a bride. He didn’t talk about warriors accoutrements, or wealth or something else. To describe how our hearts should be toward him, he talks about jewelry that’s very dear and special to the heart of a girl or young woman. He refers to the way the feminine heart treasures these things; he speaks of a particularly deep kind of treasuring. With it comes devotion, love, promise, uniqueness, specialness and much more. Think about the way a little girl treasures things she loves and finds beautiful. And this is just the beginning.

The word that came to my mind to describe these feelings was “dearness.” I haven’t thought long about whether that’s the right word, but it’s the one that came to me in that moment. In that moment, to me, something that is “dear” is something that you keep close to you. It’s a treasure, but not just one that gives you wealth or fame. It’s something that your heart treasures, even if no one else would find it beautiful – in the way that a young girl treasures her first pieces of jewelry that speak of the future beauty of womanhood.

I’m going to start trying to apply this idea more to my life. I’m going to practice remembering that God chose to speak of how our regard should be for him in these terms – as dear, precious and deeply and personally beautiful. My relationship with him is something that’s all mine that I can hold close to me where no one can see it.

Let’s bring this verse from Romans into the same context:

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:38-39)

At our noon prayer and worship time on Tuesday afternoon Jesus reminded me of this idea, and it had a particular sense of dearness to it. While the Romans verse means a number of things, I’ve understood it anew in this context. No one can take Jesus away from me. I’ll always have him, and be able to deeply treasure and cherish him. He’s in a safe place deep inside of me that no one can touch. 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