“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm… (Song of Solomon 8:6)”
I had read the verse in the past. Yet that day, the words sat on my heart, like hot rocks, headed directly for my very core; the deepest place within me (as the saying goes) that had been tightly shut and bolted for years. The place I let no one into, not even myself and certainly not God (I had made sure of that). The place where I hid all my fears, insecurities, resentments, guilt.
Years of hiding from God have taught me this: there’s no running when He is ready to deal with you. Remember Adam and Eve after they ate the apple? Animal skin and “hide and seek,” their shame was still bare before their maker.
On that day, I was sure of one thing: God was ready to deal with me and there was no running. What I did not understand was what that verse had to do with it. What did He even mean? “Place me as a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm.”
Confused, I wrote down the verse and plastered the paper on my wall, my usual way of saying, “Holy Spirit, help me understand.”
The answer came quickly.
I was a child once, with a child’s heart: innocent, trusting, unexposed to life’s realities. But life is a thief and it steals our innocence, leaving us exposed and vulnerable, like a beautiful city after a merciless invasion.
It might have started that first time a friend betrayed you, or with that first disappointment of losing the precious thing in which you had invested your all; it may have been a parent who abandoned you, or the heartbreak before all the others; it may have been the loss of a sibling, or from simply turning on the news at nine.
Whatever it was, you hated the feeling of vulnerability and swore to protect yourself. Like me, you started to build walls to protect your heart and the invaded city became a walled fortress.
With every disappointment in life, I further fortified the walls around my heart. When there was nothing left to fortify I installed canons, moving from defensive to offensive, firing shots at everything and everyone who might pose a threat to my fortress.
But, walls and cannons do not truly protect. They only enslave us with fear, reminding us of the dangers that lie behind them.
That day, God’s message to me was this:
I am your seal of comfort. Allow me to tear down your walls and place myself as the seal over your heart. I want to protect you with my love. Because there is no form of evil in me, because you can trust me, because I am love and because there is nothing impossible for me, I will be the seal that will guarantee you true safety. You’ll no longer need defenses and cannons because you’ll be truly secure in me.
Allow me to decide who and what goes in. Allow me to teach you to love freely. I know you desire to love the people around you better, more selflessly, but you’re scared it would leave you vulnerable. Yet, if you love through me, your seal of comfort, you’ll need not worry about protecting your heart because I’ll be doing that for you.
I know you desire affirmation, the kind of love that is totally sold out to you, who sees the best in you and will do anything from you. The world has failed you but I will not fail you. I am that love and I proved it the day I died on that cross.
So let me in, into that place you shut off from the world years ago. Let me break down these walls and place myself. Let my healing flow, my assurance, my restoration.
And on that day, I said yes to His proposal. My life has not been the same ever since. I’ve watched Him take my stony, stubborn heart and gradually transform it into a heart of flesh. It’s the picture of a desolate city being restored to new glory. I’m learning to love myself and to love the people around me freely and selflessly like my King. Instead of hiding from myself, I call my heart home now because it now sits in its rightful place of safety.
Today, His message to me comes to you too. Will you say yes?
If you would, take this leap of faith and speak these words in heartfelt prayer:
Father, I’m tired. I’m tired of trying to do this on my own. Tear down these walls. They are killing me. Demolish these cannons and step in. I invite you Lord to step into my heart, this desolate city and walled fortress and bring new glory. Place yourself as the rightful seal and give me your comfort, your healing and your restoration. I recognize that I need you.
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