month of lacy valentines, rich chocolates, red roses, and those little heart candies that read “SAY YES” and
“ONLY YOU” and “BE MINE”. Sweet! This time of year always reminds me of grade school, when the teacher
allowed us to make an individual homemade “mailbox” so we could hopefully receive a landslide of paper
valentines. I never got that many (not like the popular kids did
anyway), but each year I found myself surprised by receiving one or two valentines from kids I never dreamed
even knew my name. It’s possible those came from kids whose parents made them send valentines
to everyone so no one in the class would feel left out, but I didn’t care. At least my mailbox had valentines in it.
Wouldn’t you be wonderfully surprised to learn that someone is crazy in love with
you!? Well, it’s true … and it’s God himself. The whole purpose of us being alive is to know Him and His love for
us. Pretty neat, huh?
And each day He sends us a unique and personal valentine. A
gorgeous sunset, a peek at a newborn baby, spring flowers popping out of the ground, the funky sound of a song
you like, the endless and tasty variety of cuisines… Well, you get what I mean. God’s valentines never stop.
I still have trouble grasping a love that deep from the Creator and Lord of the
universe. I mean, who am I to deserve something like
that? And God doesn’t love us as a mass group. He loves us individually, passionately, personally, and enduringly …
forever. Wow. That’s
hard to get my arms around – but I sure feel His arms around me often enough to know it’s true.
Whether you’re having a joy-filled morning, a ridiculously busy lunch, a boring afternoon, a
crazy chaotic evening, or a sleepless night, you can be sure that God feels every one of your emotions and wants
you to talk about it with him. Think of curling up against His
strong, warm shoulder and sharing your heart. He wants you to
experience Him that intimately. And when you speak to Him – oh boy
-- He cherishes even your voice, did you know that? Yep, that’s why
He made it sound just the way it does.
Does all this sound too weird for you? Do you
fear I am edging on the border of sacrilege? Is this a foreign and
strange concept you can’t even imagine? Actually, it’s completely
true, and I can prove it.
God himself tells us that He is the lover of our souls. He has planned our lives with all the anticipation and excitement of a surprise
birthday party. Each day is an opportunity to open lots of His
presents and presence. But instead of looking for these loving
gifts, we sometimes become desensitized and apathetic toward them.
We even stop noticing that they occur.
Read Ezekiel 16:4-8 in the Old Testament, and you will see an unbelievably graphic example of
God’s love for us. In it, He takes His people from birth, loves on
them incessantly, raises them to adulthood with beauty and riches, and then makes love to
them! (That’s what it means when it says “I wrapped my cloak
around you to cover your nakedness and declared my marriage vows.” – New Living Translation.)
This really should not surprise us since Jesus, the prophets, and his disciple John all refer
to the Church as God’s Bride. And what does a bride
receive? The amorous, tender, devoted love of her
husband. While this may be a staggering concept to imagine, it’s
very biblical since God promised it Himself.
So this February 14th, please don’t only look in your mailbox for valentines. Because God’s expressions of love don’t always fit in there. Look around you and inside of yourself for messages of passion from the One
who loves you more than anyone ever could … God. I promise you’ll
hear His voice calling out to you with the words “SAY YES” and “ONLY YOU” and “BE MINE”. Sweet!