He Says, I am Dark Yet Lovely

He Says, I am Dark Yet Lovely

You know, service can sometimes make us feel less than beautiful. I know it has happened to me. I get completely focused and fixated on the doing and can loose myself. And in this losing I can feel less than attractive. But there is someone Who’s eye is on me who does still find me lovely—He calls me dark yet lovely.

Dark Yet LOVELY?

My Strenuous Service
Recently I have been working on several things that have been required. It isn’t that they were optional, they were my responsibility to maintain and I did them well. But with day in and day out responsibilities we can sometimes feel more like a drone than a beauty to behold. Ask any responsible full-time mom…after a day with the kids and household chores, does she find herself stunning? Accomplished maybe, but gorgeous, probably not. Work can sometimes make us feel less than attractive.

So I asked the Father about this. Ultimately it is His eyes that I want to see smiling at me. And He gave me a scripture in the Song of Songs about being Dark yet LOVELY! It is a perfect representation of carrying a taxing responsibility and finding yourself a little lost.

The Shulamite

Jerusalem maidens, in this twilight darkness I know I am so unworthy—so in need.

The Shepherd-King

Yet you are so lovely!

The Shulamite

I feel as dark and dry as the desert tents of the wandering nomads.

The Shepherd-King

Yet you are so lovely—like the fine linen tapestry hanging in the Holy Place.

My Strenuous Service

Dark Yet LOVELY

Being dark yet lovely! My Shepherd-King finds me lovely even in my strenuous service. Even when I feel like I am beneath the waves of responsibilities, He is looking at my heart. This poor maiden felt a little ugly and less than because she had worked her stepbrother’s vineyards and left hers abandoned. Yep, she had worked so hard on jobs, and neglected herself…sound familiar?

[Please] do not look at me, [she said, for] I am swarthy. [I have worked out] in the sun and it has left its mark upon me. My stepbrothers were angry with me, and they made me keeper of the vineyards; but my own vineyard [my complexion] I have not kept.
Song of Solomon 1:5b-6 AMPC

As with my last post, I don’t necessarily have an answer for this dilemma, I just know Who the answer is. No, I don’t need to abandon self-care but life happens and the reality is, we sometimes find ourselves lost in our responsibilities. We can work so hard for others until we look at our own garden and see we’ve neglected it.

Listen, my radiant one—if you ever lose sight of me, just follow in my footsteps where I lead my lovers. Come with your burdens and cares. Come to the place near the sanctuary of my shepherds. My dearest one, let me tell you how I see you—you are so thrilling to me.
Song of Songs 1:8-9a TPT

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    6 Comments

    • Pauline

      Oh, thank you so much for this, John! “Lost in our responsibilities.” But God has been so mindful; He does see and is exercising great compassion.
      Yesterday began as usual: had to do a,b,c, right away — self-care was definitely abandoned and didn’t even realize it until dinner time that I hadn’t had breakfast or lunch, (which lately had been the rule, not the exception; getting burned out.)
      Who would think you could hear His voice in this state, but here He was this morning: “Sit down…relax…enjoy a good breakfast.” That was it; nothing real ‘spiritual’ and just doing it brought more energy and joy than I ever thought possible at a time like this. Also, paved the way for more spurts of rest throughout the day.
      Realized that I was striving and leaving no room for the Holy Spirit. Thinking that I was the President of the company instead of just painting my fingernails when there was nothing urgent. [A “Martha” story]
      “We can work so hard for others until we look at our own garden and see we’ve neglected it.” Reminded me of a verse in Hosea (? chapter, ? verse) about breaking up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord. Sounds like if we want to break up our fallow ground or cultivate and refresh the soil of a hard heart to receive a seed (His word) and have it germinate, we just need to “turn over” every place in us to Him.
      You bless me, John (especially when I see that you don’t have all the answers either). And yes, I’m glad we know Who the answer is!
      Love to you and Martha.

    • Alex

      Oh, this is where I am! Psalm 110 says let them see that You have done this Then, let them curse me if they like, but I will go on rejoicing. And You will bless me!
      When we are dark and exhausted and beaten down, everyone sees. And it is not His condemnation, but the burden of responsibility that He annointed us with. Perhaps physical darkening is to show others Christ performed it, not us. And that glory goes to
      Him. And because we are willing, He is glorified. My darkening is an opportunity for Him to restore. 😊

    • Celia

      A little more context…I worked at a winery once and during the summer we dealt with grapes a lot more. One week we were handling the red ones. I was also taking a class that summer at the Community College. I vividly remember my horror as I was taking a math test. I looked down and my hands, fingernails, everything were stained, technically purple, but it looked pretty much like filth color. I wanted to explain to every other sparkling clean student how my hands weren’t really dirty, but that wasn’t an option. So vineyard work marks you and humbles you in many ways!

    • Helen

      I’m grateful for each comment. The connection the Spirit gives in this way is so encouraging, ‘surrender let loose’, to go where He wanted to go. Let surrender come as it comes & look as it looks, it’s to God. The Lord can’t resist childlike hearts…& neither can we amongst one another. Our need is where we know Him, & for our weakness & need to be seen frees others to NEED in their need. “..in this twilight darkness I know I am so unworthy, so in need.” “Swarthy” says it. In the middle of ‘life happens’, I find God is in things that fall by the wayside. I’ve lost my bearings…into surrender. They’re not around me, they’re deep in my ‘wait’. I’ve been praying for true understanding of God & His ways, in this yearning to know His heart…& for Him to know my heart… Have you ever felt like there was worship in you, but there was no way you’ve known, to lift it out? For now, you can only carry it within. How great is God’s Love…”dark, yet lovely”.

    • Rhonda Chapman

      Unfortunately I am in the opposite position, where my health is at a point where I am unable to do much, whereas 2 years ago I was in a ministry to hurt and broken people, now I am wondering what God is wanting me to do?

    • Cindy

      Your post encourages my heart, John. How can I be lovely to Him when my life is filled with others, and what feels like so many…too many…responsibilities? I feel so dark, but to hear Him say that I’m lovely & then how to find sight of Him, brings tears and gives me hope. Thank you for sharing this. ♥️

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