Tuesday, February 14, 2012

An Eternal Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day, blog friends! As you can see, I took the last year off from blogging. I will post later regarding the previous year's happenings, specifically as relates to the radical challenge for 2011. But, today is a special day and is worthy of a posting all its own! While the origination of this grand day is beautifully recorded for us in the annals of history (and of folklore), we have an even more beautiful recording of both the origination of and meaning of love in the Bible. We have the first and ultimate Valentine: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son..." (John 3:16). And how I thank Him for that!

Valentine's Day has always been a favorite holiday of mine, second only to Christmas Day. Even when I was a single gal, long before I met my man or had a first date, I loved Valentine's Day. I have always believed that the love we celebrate on Valentine's Day is not and should not be confined to the love between a man and a woman, although that is a wonderful aspect of today's celebration for many of us. Some of us pay homage to the love of friendship or of family. I have many memories of making special Valentine dinners for my folks to express my love for them when I was still single. And to be honest, there were plenty of dinners during which I was inwardly cringing and crying over spending yet another Valentine's Day without a beau of my own. As a Christian, I knew that Jesus was my Eternal Valentine; but, what I had was head knowledge, not heart knowledge.

Although I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior when I was three-years-old and as my LORD when I was 15-years-old, it has not been until now, as a 30-something, that I have accepted Jesus as the Lover of my soul. It has taken this long for the truth of who Jesus is to sink into my heart. He is not just a mighty Warrior, conquering death and the grave. He is not just a gentle Shepherd, laying His life down for mine. Maybe I am the only one or one of a few who has been blinded to this Lover role that Jesus has longed to play in my life. In case you find yourself in need of renewed vision, as I have, consider these Scriptures:

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever would believe in Him would not perish, but would have eternal life" (John 3:16).

“ 'I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness' " (Jer. 31:3).

"For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs” (Zeph. 3:17).

"But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear Him" (Ps. 103:17).

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms" (Deut. 33:27).

"For great is Your love, reaching to the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies" (Ps. 57:10).

"See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands; your walls are ever before Me" (Is. 49:16).

"...neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:39).

Of course, there are many, many other such Scriptures. These are just my favorites! My heart is filled with joy and gratitude to know without doubt that God's love for me is everlasting and that absolutely nothing can separate me from that love. He holds me in His strong, all-powerful yet gentle arms. And that is the best hug I can ever have!

If you find yourself in need of a Valentine today, may I suggest Jesus? Perhaps you have never fully given your heart to Him. Or maybe you need to remember your first love and renew your love for Him. Wherever you are in your walk with Jesus on this glorious Valentine's Day, take hold of His hand and commune with Him. He wants to be your Eternal Valentine.