Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards...Song of Solomon 2:15
When my husband and I ministered in Western Canada, we were privileged to become closely associated with Ukrainian immigrants who had fled there a generation before to escape religious persecution from the communist regime that had taken over their government. They are a people of very strong faith forged in the fires of affliction.
As is always the case, ministry in the name of Jesus to others produces personal benefits much greater than the minister's contribution. We were warmly welcomed into the homes of Ukrainian families where we were introduced to their interesting cultural traditions and blessed by their deep devotion to God and sacrificial efforts to build His kingdom. In addition to his priceless contribution to my spiritual development, the overseer of the church there gave to me an amazing piece of Ukrainian folk art called a Matryshuka. It is a figure of a woman wearing brightly colored traditional clothing. It is skillfully carved from one piece of wood into several figures, each a bit smaller than the other, which fit inside each other. Matryshuka translates as "little mother" representing a chain of mothers carrying on family traditions of childbearing. The process of crafting the figures begins with the smallest one, representing the soul, referred to as the "seed."
This craft has been copied by artisans around the world. In the US we know them as nesting dolls. They are made to look like everything from real or mythological people to birds and animals of every kind. I own a set of foxes and, indeed, the smallest one creates a problem when they are displayed individually. It's hard to hold onto, it's light and unstable, and it tends to fall over and roll away. When it does, it's hard to find because it blends into whatever it lands on.
As I have meditated upon the imagery of "little foxes" posing the biggest threat to intimate relationships, I have been reminded that the person others see me to be is actually inhabited by several other versions of me. I am a woman, of course, but I am also known as a wife, a daughter, a friend plus a few less-flattering titles. Like every other woman, I began as a "seed" which, according to our text verse, is the version of "me" that poses the biggest threat to my relationship with THE VINE. This leads me to question how it is that the tiny cell which developed in my mother's womb and grew into the woman I am today might possibly "spoil" my relationship with the One who gave me life?
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Have you ever considered that the greatest threat to your spiritual vitality is not the one coming against you but the one coming from within you? Another Bible verse to meditate upon: Matthew 15:18-20
Submitted by Nancy Hunt