God’s Valentine Gift
Valentine’s is here! The day we celebrate marital romance and embrace our significant other. It’s a holiday that incorporates the cross section of love at its different stages, both young boy friend/girl friend stuff, and veterans in the institution of marriage.
I remember being at a Valentines dinner while dating my wife and sitting across from an old couple also doing the customary (obligatory) date night. I thought how different Valentines was for them, as their weathered hands stretched across the table, their eyes looked deep into each other’s, not many words were spoken. I could sense how different this Valentine’s dinner was for that couple as they had, no doubt, fought through hardships and trials, sacrificing for one another over the course of decades. While I was still in the puppy love stage, they had traveled through the mountains, valleys, deserts and crossed the oceans that encompass a lifelong relationship and were still holding onto their love.
Much like the love affair that exist between us and God! There are many stages of faith: the exciting first encounter, when God’s love is revealed for us. Then comes the new journey where Jesus answers prayers and we find new insights into the Bible. Next is learning how to deny oneself, and dealing with the hard questions of suffering, even enduring the silent treatment from God. As we preserve through these various stages there is one constant–the love of God never varies. While God’s love might be experienced in different ways and understood “after the fact” at times, the relationship with God never loses its depth and excitement when we stay close to Him.
I remember McDonald’s had a campaign “Choose Lovin now” which includes an option to pay for meals with acts of kindness. They selected 100 customers per store and gave them the opportunity to pay for their meal with acts of love. I million people were randomly selected to opt to pay for their meal by doing such things as calling their moms to tell her you love her, doing a little dance or hugging a family member to spread the “lovin.”
Fortunately, while one of the largest companies in the world had time limits on spreading the love, God has placed no such restrictions on our receiving or extending His love. Romans 8:35-39 reminds us “Nothing separates us from the love of God,” & Galatians 6:10 “While we have the opportunity let us do good to one another.” God’s love always flows to us and is supposed to flow out from us every day. Let’s enjoy God’s Valentine gift in Jesus Christ and give a present to the Lord by loving one another as He has lived us!
-By Rev. Dr. William Lewis