"Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes."
Song of Solomon 2: 15
Have you ever thought you knew what a verse meant? That you understood the encouragement God was giving through it? Or the warning that came with it?
I've read the verse written above many times. I've read commentaries and devotionals taken from it. Oh, watch out for the little foxes that can sneak in and mess up your walk with Jesus. Remember, just because they are small and seem so insignificant and they appear quite natural to the landscape of life, that they have the ability to do tons of damage before you even realize what they are doing.
Now I know what the verse really means. It means: Oh, watch out for the little foxes that can sneak in and mess up your walk with Jesus. Remember, just because they are small and seem insignificant and they appear quite natural to the landscape of life, that they have the ability to do tons of damage before you even realize what they are doing.
I have found in my life that it isn't so hard to trust God with the big things. I know that Ethan's life, his future is totally in God's hands. I am completely incapable of protecting him, healing him, making him happy. I placed Ethan in God's hands when He was a baby and I took him back. I placed Ethan in God's hands on the way to Gainesville the day he was hurt and I never intend for him to be anywhere else. He is God's. Not mine. His dad feels the same way. So, I have peace about Ethan and his life. Of course, the enemy throws his darts at me. All the "what ifs" you can imagine and some you couldn't. But, because I know I am totally, 100%, dependent on God for Ethan, I have peace. Unbelievable peace.
Even with Seth's heart problem last week, I realized, I couldn't fix his heart. I couldn't find the right cardiologist for him. I couldn't jump in the car with Ethan and drive 7 hours to fix him. Once again, dependent. Once again, peace.
I can't save myself. I am totally dependent on Jesus. He is My Way, My Truth, My Life. I have learned that anything I do that's right, that's good, that is even close to hitting the mark, isn't me. It's Jesus living inside of me. So, even though I fall, mess-up, and look like a wild street urchin, instead of a child of the King, I have peace. Peace that I am HIS and that one day I will look just like Him. Dependent. 100%.
In Streams in the Desert, George Mueller is quoted as saying: "Remember, the very time for faith to work is when our sight begins to fail. And the greater the difficulties, the easier it is for faith to work, for as long as we can see certain natural solutions to our problems, we will not have faith. Faith never works as easily as when our natural prospects fail."
Is he right or what? Being backed in a corner, realizing you are completely helpless in a situation is not a bad place to be. Having God gently allow your legs to be taken out from under you, so He can carry you for a while, feels good. Those times we fear the most, can be the most precious times of all, because we see His faithfulness. We realize what a good and gentle Father He is.
You're probably saying by now, "What about the foxes?" Getting to it.
I was reading in a commentary that the vineyards would have stone walls built around them to protect them from wild animals. But the walls would have tiny cracks in them where the stones didn't meet perfectly. That's how the foxes would sneak into the vineyard. The vineyard owner would be sitting there, feeling all secure behind the stone wall, while his vines were being destroyed and his grapes eaten. Not by a big strong, obvious enemy. But a little quiet, sneaky one.
Well, the foxes crawled right through my walls this weekend. Before I knew it, the fruit of trusting God through Seth's heart problem was gone. The fruit of worship and reading His word, had been eaten by some foxes. I have named them itty, bitty and pity. Their first name is SELF. SELF itty, bitty and pity. YUK! They crawled right in and had themselves a self-pity party and I was the unsuspected guest of honor!
I had some hints they were trying to get in. I had some thoughts I knew I needed to trust God with but because they were small and seemed harmless, I thought I could deal with them. I thought I would take care of them by cleaning the house, working in the yard, going to the grocery store, staying busy. And while I just piddled around behind my stone wall of independence and self sufficiency, I fell on my face. And all my grapes were gone. Itty, bitty, and self pity had eaten them all up!
I had no idea what had happened until I cried out to God and asked Him how I had gotten in this hole I couldn't get of. I asked Him where the fruit had gone. Then I heard Him say, "Watch out for the foxes, Cheri. They are as dangerous as a roaring lion. You can't fight your self-pity alone anymore than you can fight for Ethan's life, for Seth's heart or your salvation. Be dependent and I will fight the foxes. Be independent and the grapes will be eaten. With every thought, trust me. I am faithful. I have always been and I will be forever.
Now I know what Song of Solomon 2 : 15 means.