A Valentine Written Especially for me… (but you can read it too! *wink*)
I was asked a few weeks back to share at a ladies brunch today, along with several others, about the love of God. More specifically, how I’d felt it in my life over the last year… that seemed like a pretty easy subject. I didn’t give it a whole lot of time or thought. But this week – as the day got closer I found myself struggling with what to say…
Sure, I could stand up and say some canned expected answer, but…. anyone who knows me (and most who read my blog don’t :) so I’ll just tell you), that’s not me!
I sat and waited my turn. Speaking in front of people is my least favorite thing in the world to do. (next to singing at weddings!) Those who went before me had their notes all written out, or their thoughts carefully put together… the more I listened the more nervous I became. I felt so unprepared.
When my name was called I got up and walked to the podium. Taking a deep breath… this is what I said. (perhaps not word for word – but basically the main gist).
“I don’t really have anything prepared. I tried to put some stuff together last night, but… well, I’ll be honest – I was struggling with getting up here and talking about ways God has shown me His love because… I don’t know about you, and maybe you’ve never been here – but at times I just don’t feel God loves me!
I mean, what a horrible Christian thing to say, right? But, it’s where I’m at at the moment…
But as I prayed last night about this all I felt like the Lord said to me so clearly, ‘You don’t feel I love you because you’re looking for it in all the wrong places!’
(here in my little talk is where the tears began to flow… just as they had the night before).
God was right!
When I don’t understand what God’s doing with Shayne’s job and direction for our lives right now – it doesn’t mean He doesn’t love me.
When I pray for another baby to fill our arms and it’s not happened – it doesn’t mean He doesn’t love me.
When people hurt me, and seem unfair, even cruel in their criticism – it doesn’t mean He doesn’t love me.
But I’m human… I don’t pretend to always get God. I base so many things on my emotional reasoning. I wish I could say I have some kind of deep extraordinary faith that never questions God or wavers. But, I don’t. And in these times when I don’t FEEL that He loves me I’m not always sure what to cling to ~ because yes. being human. emotional. and doubting I need something to cling to…
Problem is, I can often go to the wrong places to make me “feel God’s love.” Circumstances that are smooth. Bills that can be paid. Affirmation from others. My husband. My kids… and nothing wrong with God loving us through these things – He often does. But when we go to them in place of knowing and truly experiencing His love alone, it’s wrong. It is sin. The sin of idolatry – anything that I’m looking to meet needs only God can meet!
Still, recognizing these things doesn’t always change how I feel. So I said, “Lord, how do I believe you love me, even when I don’t feel like it.” And the words to this simple, yet truth packed little song immediately came to mind –
‘Jesus Loves me, This I know – (how do I know?) for the Bible tells me so.’
It is in running to God’s Word – not in any other temporary counterfeit – that I will hear. believe. know. and feel of His great love towards me…
I thought of a verse I had read in Isaiah that very morning and grabbed my Bible to look it up again – “I have graven you upon the palms of my hands….”
I envisioned the Lord standing with His arms open. His hands and feet are pierced, and He bears the marks of death in his body. He looks at me and says, “I understand how you feel. I’ve been there. I’ve felt it too. “
I am convinced that until God becomes our all. Until He is first. second. third. and fourth place, we will never be satisfied. We will continually feel crushed beneath our questions. fears. and doubts. Life will never make sense until we come to accept that there is no lasting fulfillment outside of Christ. Try as we may to fill our love starved hearts with anything else apart from Him. It is not me plus God. God plus something else. It is God alone. And. He. Is. Enough.
So… while thinking I had nothing to say about how God had shown His love to me over the last year – I discovered that He has. was. and does over and over again as I look to His Word~
“I wait for the Lord. My soul waits, and in His word I put my hope…”
This Valentines day may you rediscover, as I did, the greatest. sweetest Valentine ever written – it’s pages are strewn cover to cover with the only source of genuine. lasting. eternal love. It’s all right there at our fingertips. And it’s all there Just For Us!
“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jer. 31: 3
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