"I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys."- Song of Songs 2:1 (NIV)
I have heard this verse since I was little and have always thought it was such a beautiful verse… until I realized that this woman wasn’t stating these words with joy like I had always imagined. Instead, I now believe that she grumbled when she said it.
I realized that this woman isn’t any different than you and I. She had fallen deep into the trap of comparison and was exhibiting some severe insecure symptoms.
She wasn’t saying, “Yay! I am so glad that I (really, ME!) am a rose of Sharon!”… She was upset. In the culture that we are invited into through this passage, this flower that she is referencing was considered ordinary, even annoying. If she lived in North America today, the girl might have said, “I’m a dang dandelion in the grass!” (Mariah translation of the verse).
What do we consider dandelions in North America? Weeds. Our parents warned us against blowing their flighty seeds all over the yard because they wanted as few of these flowers in their yard as possible. A yard full of dandelions is considered neglected, ugly, and unmanicured. A dandelion doesn’t stick out to us as beautiful. We don’t drive down the road saying, “OHMYGOODNESS look how beautiful that dandelion is!!!” every time we pass one.
We don’t pamper them as we do other precious flowers, watering them and nurturing them. I mean, when was the last time you saw someone plant dandelions in their flower pots? We often see them lying lifeless on the grass after we have mowed and face no regret for what we have done, going out to buy more weed killer to get rid of the ones that still remain.
This woman compares herself to this flower’s unfortunate life. She has listened to the lies. She believes that she is ordinary, unfavored, over-looked.
I don’t know about you, but I can relate to her. There have definitely been times when I have felt like a dandelion, a weed, in the midst of extravagant, rare flowers. When I have felt like everyone has overlooked me and moved on to the next girl or the next rose. I have felt the raging disease of comparison that has all but left me with zero confidence.
But before this woman can throw herself too long of a pity party, Solomon comes in and calls out the beauty in her.
“Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens” - Song of Songs 2:2 (NIV)
In Mariah’s translation, he is saying, “Well if you are convinced that you are a simple dandelion, then you’re a dandelion between two thorns.” He is telling her (in more poetic sounding words) that she is much more beautiful than she could ever imagine. He is reaching to her soul and calling out the beauty that is there.
He is calling her beautiful like it’s her name.He is reaching to her soul and calling out the beauty that is there. He is calling her beautiful like it's her name. Click To Tweet
How important is this? How beautiful would our world be if we did this?
This verse has little to do with her appearance though, as one might believe. Bible scholars believe that the key to this conversation is the fact that the rose of Sharon is a wildflower. They are not cared for by man, but they are taken care of by God. They belong to Him.
Solomon was acknowledging that the girl that he loved was cared for even more so by God.
I don’t believe that our struggle with our beauty has much to do with us at all. I think it’s a fistfight between our Creator and the enemy.I don’t believe that our struggle with our beauty has much to do with us at all. I think it’s a fistfight between our Creator and the enemy. Click To Tweet
God has already established your worth by creating you. He personally chose everything about you. Your hair color. Your skin tone. Your height. Even the curve of your nose.
The fact that God created you IS your worth.
Just like Solomon, God will not join you in your pity party when you have self-consciousness and self-focused obsessions. He might acknowledge them, but He will soon redirect your attention to your true value; that you were created and are cared for by Him.
He will call out the beauty from within you and bring it to center stage. He will continue to call you beautiful like it’s your name until you actually believe it.God will call out the beauty from within you and bring it to center stage. He will continue to call you beautiful like it's your name until you actually believe it. Click To Tweet
"Has anyone by fussing before the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? If fussing can’t even do that, why fuss at all? Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They don’t fuss with their appearance—but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?" -Luke 12:27-28 (MSG).
I believe that Solomon was making this connection. Whether he knew it or not, God knew that we would be able to draw the lines between these 2 passages.
In the first passage, Solomon was pointing out to this woman he loved that even though she was insecure and felt as though she was overlooked and unwanted as a wildflower that is often unwanted by man, she was treasured.
I’m sure (if she was anything like you and me) that she wanted to be a flower so beautiful and so desired that man took the time to treasure it. However, Solomon is saying to her that it is so much more special that she is like a wildflower because they survive on God’s hands alone. Some flowers are planted and cultivated by people, but wildflowers are clothed, fed, and loved by God alone.
We are all wildflowers. We don’t need humans to uplift us, to cultivate us, to love us in order to be beautiful and to be fully taken care of. Our worth and purpose are found in Jesus alone.We are all wildflowers. We don't need humans to uplift us, to cultivate us, to love us in order to be beautiful and to be fully taken care of. Our worth and purpose are found in Jesus alone. Click To Tweet
I’m sure that there are times that the wildflower doubts that God will take care of it. There are seasons when it gets frigidly cold out and there are seasons of drought. These seasons almost certainly bring moments of doubt, wondering if they need a human’s help. But God always has great plans for the ones that He has created.
With a couple of google searches, I was able to find that the rose of Sharon flower is a version of what we call hibiscus flowers here in America.
This picture shows the flower that she was comparing herself to. This was what was considered a weed and annoying in their culture. The same flowers that we now plant in our flower pots and consider beautiful. It’s not about appearance, but it’s about knowing that you are valued and dressed by the creator of the universe.
It’s about shutting down the enemy’s lies of insecurity and answering to God’s call of beauty.It's about shutting down the enemy's lies of insecurity and answering to God's call of beauty. Click To Tweet
If you want to see the beauty shine in someone, call the beautiful parts about them out. It’s as simple as that. Just as Solomon called out the beauty in the one he loved, even when she couldn’t see that, call out the beauty in someone else. When they feel unloved, unwanted, and ugly, call them beautiful. Fill your words for them with so much admiration for the beauty that they can’t see. End the pity party with gracious words of love. The more you call her out beautiful, the more she will believe it.
Call her beautiful like it’s her name.