Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread abroad. (Song of Songs 4: 16)
Let us examine the meaning of this prayer for a moment. It is rooted in the fact that in the same way beautiful fragrances may lie hidden in a spice plant, certain gifts may lie unused or undeveloped in a Christian’s heart. Many seeds of a profession of faith may be planted, but from some the air is never filled with the aroma of holy desires or godly deeds. The same winds blow on the thistle and the spice plant, but only one of them emits a rich fragrance.
Sometimes God causes severe winds of trial to blow upon His children to develop their gifts. Just as a torch burns more brightly when waved back and forth, and just as a juniper plant smells sweetest when thrown into the flames, so the richest qualities of a Christian often arise under the strong winds of suffering and adversity. Bruised hearts often emit the fragrance that God loves to smell.
I had a tiny box, a precious box
Of human love— my perfume of great price;
I kept it close within my heart of hearts
And scarce would lift the lid lest it should waste
Its fragrance on the air. One day a strange
Deep sorrow came with crushing weight, and fell
Upon my costly treasure, sweet and rare,
And broke the box to pieces. All my heart
Rose in dismay and sorrow at this waste,
But as I mourned, behold a miracle
Of grace Divine. My human love was changed
To Heaven’s own, and poured in healing streams
On other broken hearts, while soft and clear
A voice above me whispered, “Child of Mine,
With comfort wherewith you are comforted,
From this time forth, go comfort others,
And you will know blest fellowship with Me,
Whose broken heart of love has healed the world.”
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim. Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (pp. 301-302). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.