by Lori Roeleveld @LoriSRoeleveld
My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone.” Song of Solomon 2:10-11 ESV
Hollywood is rife with romantic notions and many of us have taken our cue from Tinseltown as to what qualifies.
It’s usually a flashy ordeal with diamonds, dancing and beautiful people in beautiful clothes. Romance, the movies tell us, is about gifts and musicians, flowers and fireplaces, fancy foods and fantastic footwork.
As our anniversary approaches every spring, my husband grumbles that I’m not a normal woman. If only my idea of romance lined up with Hollywood, it would be easier to woo and wow me!
On the one hand, I’m not that hard to please. On the other hand, it takes everything he has.
I don’t wish for diamonds or pearls; in fact, I’d prefer he not spend any money at all. What I want is his attention, a long walk, and a real conversation.
For me, it’s the relationship that creates the romance. Romance that works begins when we say, “good morning” and builds as we work through the daily challenges of paying bills and living life. It’s the together part that makes the romance happen. If we haven’t been together in overcoming the obstacles of the day, it’s impossible to impress me with a rose and cheesecake.
God is a romantic. You can tell by His extravagance and the lengths to which He goes to get our attention.
As I sat stewing once over my prayer time, frustrated that certain situations had not worked out to my desiring, I was determined to fret and scowl. As I read His Word, however, He whispered to me again about the depth of His love and reminded me of His unchanging character.
As I prayed, I looked out through the doors of my deck at the muted greens of the spring forest against the gray sky of a rainy day and marveled at His handiwork and the gift of this view. The greens and browns of the freshly budded woods were interrupted with flashes of blue or red or yellow as birds alighted on the feeders before returning to nests hidden in the trees. Their songs warbled and whistled to me as they grew bold through the camouflage of their platforms.
Ever so slowly, the romance of creation quieted my heart and spoke to my soul of a deeper relationship, wooing me to see beyond the transient troubles of the day to the great heart of God, to begin to ask for greater gifts than quick answers.
The God of Creation desires my attention, my attendance, my full focus. He crossed the greatest of divides and gave His only Son to bring me safely into His fold. Because He created me, He knows the secrets of my own soul better than I.
Just as Hollywood has many plastic notions of romance, so the world has many misconceptions about a relationship with God and often these ideas pollute my own thinking. He’s not a genie in a bottle. He’s not the great wish-granter in the sky. He’s not about making my life easier or taking orders for my best life now.
He is about a deeper story, a greater adventure, an eternal romance that began before I was born and will continue into a place where there will be no more false notions, no Hollywood hoaxes, no cheap imitations of grace. And He wants me beside Him on this adventure.
On the one hand, it’s not that hard. On the other hand, it takes everything I have.
The romance of God calls to me and I will follow into the deep, deep heart of the greatest story ever told.
About the author: Lori Stanley Roeleveld is an author, speaker, and disturber of hobbits who enjoys making comfortable Christians late for dinner. She’s authored four encouraging, unsettling books. Her latest release is The Art of Hard Conversations: Biblical Tools for the Tough Talks that Matter. She speaks her mind at www.loriroeleveld.com.
Join the conversation: How has God romanced you lately?