Valentine’s Day. While the origin of this holiday is murky and can be explored here, some embrace it with excitement and joy and others view it with trepidation and fear. Fear he won’t get it right again. Fear her expectations won’t be met. Fear there will be no expression of love in the mailbox again.
I remember Valentine parties at school. They were my least favorite school celebration. Every card was scrutinized to find the underlying message. Was I loved and chosen by someone? Would anyone declare devotion to me? Many times — most times — I went home crushed because the message I set myself up to need wasn’t received.
Today I want to share a Valentine message – a message of love – with you that can always be counted on. It is beyond our wildest imaginations and does not depend on me or my cleverness. It is love that is undeserved and yet so completely filling.
16“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
9God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.`1 John 4:9-10
19We love each other because he loved us first.1 John 4:19
You are deeply loved by God, the Creator of the universe. He sent his Son, Jesus, to take away our sins, making a way for us to be in relationship with the Father.
You are deeply loved, no matter what you do or do not receive today by way of Hallmark Valentine cards, red roses or boxes of chocolates. All of those things are temporary and will be gone in just a few days. God’s love is unending and never runs dry.
You might be thinking I’m crazy. How can a God I can’t see love me? When I need a physical, tangible expression of love, how does God do that?
Let me share an experience of mine from just two days ago. Saturday, Dave and I were with friends for a good part of the day at the beach. Arriving home around 3 p.m., we had a couple of hours before dinner. I took an hour or so to work on a quilt I am quilting in my garage. Sitting in the quiet with my needle and thread for company, I deliberately calmed my mind and mental processes through music and meditation. As I quilted, I prayed and listened. Specifically, I prayed about what I to write for this post. As the Lord brought ideas to my mind, I began to meditate on God’s love for me. I realized that it’s possible to miss God’s love – his Valentine’s – for me. I asked him to open my eyes to his expressions of love for me.
My mind wandered to other parts of my life. I allowed the thoughts to float across the landscape of my mind without holding too tightly to any of them. One thought that presented itself is a commitment I made to my son and daughter-in-law to watch my grandchildren on Thursday. I wondered about switching my day to earlier in the week to free the day to be involved in ministry opportunities. I briefly considered asking them but then let it float on through.
Fifteen minutes later while I am getting ready for dinner, I hear my phone alert me to a text message. I read this from my daughter-in-law:
What are my thoughts about that? My thoughts are WOW!! Remember, I prayed for God to open my eyes to his love for me. Boom! He answered more prayers with that one text message than I can begin to count!
I don’t know what God has in mind for my Thursdays, but I know he loves me. I am blown away by his goodness to me. There is no human message of love, Valentine card or box of chocolates that could possibly fill me with the affirmation I am loved, chosen and set apart like that one text message.
I dare you to give it a try. With no parameters, no boundaries — ask God to open your eyes to the ways he loves you EVERY SINGLE DAY! Because you are also deeply loved, chosen, set apart, adopted with a rich inheritance. When the world’s expressions of love leave you longing for more, turn to the One who loves you so much!