small_252272721“Awake, O north wind, And come, O south! Blow upon my garden that its spices may flow out. Let my beloved come to his garden and eat its pleasant fruits.” (Song 4:16)

It’s the north and south winds blowing on the marriage garden which cause the spices to flow out. The north winds are bitter and cold (adversity) while the south winds are warm and refreshing (blessing). I recommend that every couple enjoy both because Jesus is Lord over each.

“The cold winds strip us and the warm winds clothe and restore us. In both times we drink deeply of all that God gives us. In times of weakness, it is the memory of God’s enabling strength that sustains our hearts. In times of strength, it is the remembrance of our utter weakness that protects us.” 1

There’s glory in the north winds. I heard these words in my spirit one day as I pondered the experience of the prophet Ezekiel. While in the midst of the exiles in Babylon, a stormy wind came out of the north. (Ezekiel 1:4) It brought two things: the glory of God and the voice of God. These are two commodities that we contend for and strive to acquire. They are often ushered into our lives with the escort of turbulence. The question of the hour becomes: Do I want comfort or accuracy?

We can all confess to how hard it is at times to live with ourselves as we seek to change and grow in Christ. It goes to “times two” when you’re married. It’s your stuff plus your spouse’s stuff. On top of that, we don’t grow at a uniform pace. My soil may have been rototilled, leveled out, seeded, and growing steadily. My spouse might be at a different stage. They may be struggling with a particular phase of the process much to my bewilderment. This is a good time to reinforce those budding virtues on behalf of my spouse that Jesus sees in all of us!

The Sovereign Overseer in the garden of my life is God. Agents employed in his hand include parents, siblings, friends, pastors, spiritual leaders, and of course – our spouse. The end goal is for our personal destinies to be planted, harvested, and released upon the earth.

Gardens look different in the winter than they do in the spring and summer. But it’s OUR marriage garden; its flowers and fragrance are unique; and we are committed to it for life.

Excerpt from “Longing for Eden: Embracing God’s vision in your marriage” by Mike & Anne Rizzo.

photo credit: kakki**** via photopin cc

1)  Dana Candler, Deep Unto Deep (Kansas City: Forerunner Publishing, 2004), 172.