In their finest bloom, almond and cherry blossoms adorned the undulating hill. Pennyroyals in dark hues of mauve and pink carpeted the grounds. Golden array of gazanias had done their duty and closed up as soon as the sun began to set. The sun gently bowed from the horizon, gave place to the evening heavenly lights.
Break-winds of iron-bark, gray-box, and towering eucalyptus dominated the ten-acre wooded land. Their stately foliage provided shelter to the honey-eaters and kookaburras. Young fairy wrens proved good of their first flights, while their diligent parents chirruped their all-day assents of approval and praise.
On the clearing up the hill, there stood the old family cottage, built from Tasmanian oak timber. French bay windows opened to full extent, welcomed the sun's last stroke of glory. To let the south wind into the living room where children’s laughter was heard as Mother busied in the kitchen.
While in the gardens, Beth beheld the excellence of the moment. The canopy of ember and purple stream of light through the clouds produced awesome masterpiece. Sheer contentment in the presence of goodness that surrounded her gratified her spirit with needful strength and solace. Indeed, the decline of the day was drawing near. She drew her wraps around her modest, long, and floral cotton dress as she breathed in the gentle southerly air while lilac and daphne awakened the olfactory.
Beth heaved a bemoaning cry, “’Why are you cast down, O my soul? Why are you disquieted within me?’ I am young. I yearn for intimate union with a life-giving love. The longing is within the very depths of my soul. Oh, the solitude of singleness! O Lord, hear me. Turn my solitude into patient prayer as I wait.”
She sought Him in the dark. Timely, the ever-present Friend graced to her the last perfection of pillar of light upon her bearing once more: “I will hope in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”
He answered, ‘“Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.’”
She heard the words. Her Beloved was in earnest. She secretly longed and believed that such undeserved offer from Him elicited unconditional love for her. He promised happiness, life anew, and hope with Him.
“’You are beautiful, O my love, comely..., terrible as an army with banners.’” To Him, the loveliness faced before Him was deep down gentle, glorious within, and beautiful!
He knew her. “I’ve never doubted you, not even for a second of breath in Me, that you are King’s daughter; My Spirit’s desire; My beautiful Bride. My wife, My sister. Crowns of honour await you".
Her Beloved continued, "Will you accept Me as your Husband?"
“The voice of my Love! I hear Him! My Beloved is speaking!”
Her face cast down, eyelids veiling her dark brown eyes, grasping steadily, deeply into her heart this moment of decision. Life or death in eternity depended on it. Beth had passionately longed for the very essence of His love and strength. Would her thoughts linger awhile longer?
She looked up; surveyed the kind face before her. He finally embraced her. His face shone upon her youthfulness. Oh, she could not explain such comfort! His abiding Presence endowed her spirit freedom. Such a high cost of love that He bore in His own body: hers and the wretchedness of humanity. He bled and gave up His life for all!
Yes, she took haven under His loving-kindness. “Oh, peace! Peace, within my soul!” She understood now His long-suffering waiting for her.
She pondered, “My life is not mine. I shall live forever for my Beloved!”
“’Sit down under My shadow with great delight, My fruit is sweet to taste.’”
“Yes.” Her heart filled to overflowing.
“Desire of Me into your bosom and be My bride.”
“I shall abide with you. Will you wait to the end until I come for you?”
Her First Love in whose eyes intently looking at her was the Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the valley.
“My Beloved Jesus, You are mine, and I am Yours: You’ve fed me among the lilies.”
“O fairest among women. Come to the banqueting house, My banner over you is My everlasting love.”
“Yes. I desire only You.”
Oh, for the joy of His sweet loving embrace!
Love engraved in eternity in glorious Heavenly place!
“Jesus, my life is Thine. Nothing can sever Thy life from mine.”
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