Merry Wednesday by Parris Bailey
KNOW WHEN TO HOLD ‘EM
Song of Solomon 1: 6 “Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother’s children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.”
It is one thing to admit our failures, to express to ourselves, that in us there is no good thing. But when we begin to blame others for our problems, that’s when we can fall into a ditch. The more we get close to Christ the more we see ourselves in others. His kisses draw us deeply into Him and less with others and we begin to see that we are not supposed to be controlled by others or things. He is a jealous God! We can save the world, deliver Aunt Betty, our neighbor and our children and if we don’t watch out, we can lose our closeness with the Lord Himself. What a fine balance!
Martin Luther felt this passage was saying this; “Do not stare at the part of me in which I am ugly but fix your eyes on my beauty and grace, consider my virtues, not my vices. Turn your attention not to my blackness, but to the kiss which God offers me, and then you will see that I am lovely and most admirable. The Church, too, is similarly undesirable in appearance. It seems to be lacerated and wretchedly afflicted and exposed to the taunts of all men. But this is our consolation: that our salvation is anchored in the Word and faith, not in outward appearance.”
Spurgeon puts it this way; “My sufferings are such as I have deserved; for my own vineyard have I not kept. How unrighteous soever my brethren are in persecuting me, God is righteous in permitting them to do so. I am justly made a slavish keeper of men’s vineyards.” WOW!
This might be a terrible example to use, but I often think of the Gambler’s Song by Kenny Rogers when it said, “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run. You never count your money when your sitting at the table, there will be time enough for countin’ when the dealings done.” You might wonder how this song fits into our lives? Everyday we need to take care of our vineyard, which is our relationship, our love life with Christ. It is out of that life-flow we can flow out to others. We will never have our “mother’s children” happy with us and in the end, we will dry up, grow bitter, and die exhausted.
Once again, it is in our blackness that His beauty is revealed in us. Daily we have to cultivate this precious vineyard, this fellowship with our lover. It’s not easy to take a look within ourselves and realize that our vineyard has been neglected, but when we are honest with ourselves, the breakthrough comes.